There will inevitably be seed art of this
June 12, 2018 2:11 PM   Subscribe

A raccoon has decided to climb to the 22nd floor of the UBS tower in downtown St. Paul. It's currently taking a nap, but Minnesotans are still watching and tweeting about it at #mprraccoon
posted by dinty_moore (110 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Poor urban* panda. I hope he/she finds a way to get down and get some food/water/shelter. :(

*Yes, I use the term "urban" instead of trash b/c words have power and it matters.
posted by Fizz at 2:15 PM on June 12 [22 favorites]


And it's killing me. I'm afraid for the raccoon, I'm afraid that it is a mother raccoon and there are starving baby raccoons somewhere, and I need this all to turn out okay.
posted by maxsparber at 2:15 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


A picture of where the raccoon is relative the ground (the building that has the chyron about the raccoon is the MPR building, which the raccoon scaled first).

There's also fanart.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:19 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


Everyone I know here has stopped what they're doing to follow this, it's insane. My sister just now:
"Mayor Carter should scale the building to rescue him then we can just make him president."
posted by Bacon Bit at 2:19 PM on June 12 [10 favorites]


Access Denied
You don't have permission to access "http://www.kare11.com/article/news/mpr-raccoon-scales-ubs-tower-in-st-paul/89-563763824" on this server.

Reference #18.44f655f.1528838608.3bcb32

posted by Pendragon at 2:23 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


The article said there are traps on the roof. Does this happen often?
posted by turtlebackriding at 2:27 PM on June 12


Weird! The link works for me, both in normal and incognito mode. The original link starts with https, which might be causing the issue?

There's the MPR version of the story. The Washington Post has also weighed in.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:28 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


The article said there are traps on the roof. Does this happen often?

I'm assuming they were placed there in response to this incident, as in: this is the plan to capture this raccoon, not that raccoons regularly scale buildings in St. Paul as so there are traps on the roof as a matter of course.
posted by nubs at 2:34 PM on June 12 [14 favorites]


Spider-Raccoon, Spider-Raccoon,
Does whatever a Spider-Raccoon does...
posted by darkstar at 2:36 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


Oh no! The picture of it cowering on the ledge just breaks my heart.
posted by AFABulous at 2:37 PM on June 12 [6 favorites]


Everything is terrible right now and I really need this to have a happy ending.
posted by AFABulous at 2:38 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


For those wondering - the UBS tower is 25 stories tall, the raccoon is currently chilling on the 23rd floor. There's cat food waiting for the little guy on the top of the roof.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:42 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


This better turn out okay or I will demolish a children's swing set in a public park and laugh at the children when they cry because they can't swing any more.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:43 PM on June 12 [12 favorites]


As a one-time resident of Raccoon Nation, raccoons are gonna raccoon and I'm not going to get upset about it. You think they're cute until they've managed to spread your green bin across an entire city block.

I actually have confidence that this raccoon will be fine because raccoons have done way dumber stuff than this.
posted by GuyZero at 2:43 PM on June 12 [13 favorites]


One wandered into the back yard the other day and I mostly unintentionally treed 'em. For a bit I talked to it and explained it should find another yard and it was really cute... until it wasn't and it was a wild animal I remembered I really did not want to mess with a scared animal with teeth and I retired to the porch and let it go be cute elsewhere.
posted by sammyo at 2:59 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


Reading this post title made me 50x more Minnesotan. Or maybe immediately understanding it meant the Minnesotan was in me all along.
posted by Emmy Rae at 3:00 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


Bearing in mind my family history with raccoons, I am delighted that this is taking place in St. Paul and not Minneapolis.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:10 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


He'd better live. There's a certain tree that needs avenging.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:14 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


Oh god!! I literally deleted Twitter from my phone so I couldn't check on the poor critter every 30 seconds, and now its here too! I can't stand it. Poor little guy. I hope for a happy ending but I just can't look.

Will someone memail me when he's safe so I know its okay to go back on the Internet again?
posted by Elly Vortex at 3:15 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


To be honest, I wasn't expecting that this would be a story about a suffering animal that might die. I wish I hadn't clicked.

Like, it's not the only animal out there that is suffering - but I don't like when animal suffering goes viral. I can't do anything to help this raccoon and I don't really get how these stories appeal to people. Like, I don't think that people who see this story and think they have to share it are sick or anything, but I just don't understand the urge.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 3:22 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


Where's that guy who climbed that building to rescue that baby a couple weeks ago? Can we send out the signal and fly him in?
posted by bondcliff at 3:23 PM on June 12 [14 favorites]


He looks really small and skinny :( is that normal or is he a baby?
posted by Iteki at 3:24 PM on June 12


Metafilter: raccoons have done way dumber stuff than this
posted by ovenmitt at 3:32 PM on June 12 [6 favorites]


I remember reading a story about a fox who lived on the 20th floor of a London high-rise under construction. Our raccoon friend will probably be fine.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:33 PM on June 12


Y’all need to trust the raccoon a little more.
posted by stinkfoot at 3:36 PM on June 12 [9 favorites]


James Gunn, the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, has pledged a $1000 donation to the non-political charity of choice for whoever rescues the raccoon.

He's got a notable soft spot for Oreo, the raccoon who plays approximately half of Rocket Raccoon's motion-capture acting, so this isn't that surprising but it is rather nice. (His brother plays the rest of said acting, but I imagine he'd do the same thing if Sean Gunn was stranded on the wrong end of a twenty-second floor window.)
posted by sciatrix at 3:36 PM on June 12 [23 favorites]


Misread as USB tower, page me when this other version happens.
posted by danhon at 3:51 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


I also get an access denied error when I go to www.kare11.com. Strange....
posted by Pendragon at 4:01 PM on June 12


I'm sitting here furiously refreshing Even Frost's twitter instead of working. Why am I so invested in this raccoon? I don't know. But I'll be damned if I have to care about anything else today.
posted by numaner at 4:10 PM on June 12


Via WCCO (CBS MN affiliate) and Facebook: Live Feed, of raccoon just chilling there.

Am not sure if it's currently live or just looping.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:17 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


I remember reading a story about a fox who lived on the 20th floor of a London high-rise under construction.

Animals that small have low terminal velocities and low momentum relative to the strength of their bodies. The raccoon could leap right off and survive.

Also, I saw this on my way home from work. There were a bunch of people on the sidewalk with their phones looking up. I got someone to tell me what was going on and point out the little brown speck (below the S in UBS).
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:38 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


i support this brave and adventuresome creature and its tiny little people hands
posted by poffin boffin at 4:58 PM on June 12 [19 favorites]


Mayor Carter’s statement via twitter:
Even wild animals know @cityofsaintpaul is a great place to reach for higher heights. We’re working with staff & building owner to find a way to help #MPRraccoon without further endangering it or staff by scaring or making it feel threatened.
posted by Bacon Bit at 5:04 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


This guy climbed down on his own from a 213m-high perch, but OTOH he had a ladder.

I'm kind of guessing a window-washing platform containing a couple of food-laden live traps lowered to the window in question would provide a means of safe egress?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:10 PM on June 12


IT'S UP AND MOVING

CURRENT LIVE FEED

ok it was, and now it's napping again?
posted by numaner at 5:14 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


This is racoon equivalent of Alex Honhold free solo up El Capitan.
posted by Pantalaimon at 5:54 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


I also get an access denied error when I go to www.kare11.com. Strange....

You're from Europe.. Welcome to the United States' ham-handed answer to GDPR.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:56 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


here is a different feed from the local fox affiliate with ZOOM

it got up and scratched itself, then seemingly stared at the camera, and now back to sleep.
posted by numaner at 6:11 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


i very strongly support naps!
posted by poffin boffin at 6:15 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


omg there's a lady in the building that keeps approaching it and taking pictures and i swear waking it up at one point by tapping the glass to get its attention i want to punch her so bad
posted by numaner at 6:16 PM on June 12 [6 favorites]


Let Him Nap
posted by poffin boffin at 6:20 PM on June 12 [16 favorites]


The Replacements are from Minneapolis but still...

You take the skyway
High above the busy little one way,
In my stupid hat and gloves at night I lie awake,
Wondering if I'll sleep,
Wondering if we'll meet out in the street...
posted by bendy at 8:07 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


He has moved up a floor to the vents!
posted by dinty_moore at 8:18 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Twitter says he’s climbing back down now!
posted by edheil at 8:45 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


I have given up on everything else and now this raccoon is the only thing I care about for the rest of the day.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:54 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


KARE 11 still have a live stream (periscope), but right now he's resting again in the dark.

Reports say 16th or 17th floor.
posted by numaner at 9:09 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


ok, confirmed 16th floor, and female.

she's in this window right now.
posted by numaner at 9:18 PM on June 12


oh they don't know the gender yet. from the KARE 11 reporter: "I really like saying "she" too, I've been say "he" all day, it only seems fair."
posted by numaner at 9:25 PM on June 12


I am wrong, it's one floor higher than that window. So at 17th.
posted by numaner at 9:44 PM on June 12


I've been watching developments from Tim Nelson (MPR reporter) and Evan Frost (photojournalist). They've slowed down their live-tweeting, but they still seem to be rather active in updates.
posted by lesser weasel at 10:00 PM on June 12


ahhh she slipped a bit right here
posted by numaner at 10:07 PM on June 12


I didn't think I'd be up all night worrying about a raccoon, but here we are...
posted by talking leaf at 10:26 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


I took a break to catch up on Handmaid's Tale and now she's back on floor 23! But still right above where she was earlier.
posted by numaner at 12:20 AM on June 13


ok she's now at the vents at the top and moved back closer to the corner of the building. She was like 4-5 windows away from the corner earlier.
posted by numaner at 12:30 AM on June 13


@timnelson_mpr [SLTwitter]
"We're standing by to hear from animal control officials in St. Paul to see if the #mprracoon found the cat food and live trap waiting for it atop the 23-story office tower the animal finally climbed atop just before 3A CDT."

Summary video [SLTwitter] with the ascent to the rooftop
posted by lesser weasel at 3:55 AM on June 13 [9 favorites]


Also I wish I had taken a screenshot when I had seen it, but #mprracoon made the Trending Worldwide section for Twitter for a brief hour or so.
posted by lesser weasel at 3:57 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I need to see visual evidence that he is safe.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:07 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy
posted by Going To Maine at 4:23 AM on June 13


I will never underestimate these animal daredevils again.
posted by maxsparber at 5:09 AM on June 13


No visual evidence yet, but trapped! [SLTwitter]
posted by lesser weasel at 5:16 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


"She's on the roof" reminds me of *spoilers* Capricorn One. *spoilers*
posted by Gorgik at 5:17 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Oh thank god.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:19 AM on June 13


And visual!

I'm so glad this ended well.
posted by lesser weasel at 5:51 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Oh thank heavens. I moved from where I raised my kids to a teeny-wtf-was-I-even-thinking-TINY apartment this past week which has been sort of a shitty adjustment, I've been asked to participate in an investigation into my boss for creating a hostile work environment, my daughter's awesome dog died, my son failed his first year of college, and then Bourdain.

No exaggeration, if this little raccoon didn't survive, it may have been the catalyst for ice cream and 30 Rock for a day. (I'm fine, people. Really.)

I'm glad it's fine.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:57 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


Moved to the big city, got his start on the ground floor of a major corporation, and worked hard to climb his way to the top!

Now it’s time to retire to a nice place in the country.


It’s the Amerraccoon Dream!
posted by darkstar at 6:00 AM on June 13 [25 favorites]


I'm very upset with MetaFilter for being down at 3:45 AM so I couldn't report that it made it to the roof! My own visuals here. I was celebrating with strangers on the Facebook live feed. It was amazing and cathartic and gave me some hope for life.
posted by numaner at 6:04 AM on June 13 [10 favorites]


More fanart: Felt, Woodburning.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:37 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Saw a tweet that claimed that this raccoon had been removed from a nearby rooftop previously. They were concerned that there may be babies on the roof of that building and she just picked the wrong one to climb. Did any of the new stories mention this previous building? Can we alert their maintenance department?
posted by domo at 6:48 AM on June 13


First photo confirmation I've seen that the raccoon has been captured:
After a delicious meal of soft cat food, #mprraccoon has been caught and will be picked up by Wildlife Management. Goodbye friend! - @ubs_plaza
(Edit: I see this was already posted)
posted by simonw at 6:52 AM on June 13


Saw a tweet that claimed that this raccoon had been removed from a nearby rooftop previously. They were concerned that there may be babies on the roof of that building and she just picked the wrong one to climb. Did any of the new stories mention this previous building? Can we alert their maintenance department?

My understanding is that it was on the MPR building next door at first, and then when people tried to shoo it off of the MPR building, it started climbing the UBS tower. The gender of the raccoon was still in question last I checked, so I think the worry about babies is just speculation.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:55 AM on June 13


No exaggeration, if this little raccoon didn't survive, it may have been the catalyst for ice cream and 30 Rock for a day. (I'm fine, people. Really.)

Don't stop on our account.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:57 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: the Amerraccoon Dream!
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:58 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


The UBS tower is part of an office complex. The MPR building is physically separate from that. My impression was that it climbed some other building in the complex, then was spooked into climbing the tower.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:02 AM on June 13


I am so relieved. I can now reinstall Twitter on my phone.
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:44 AM on June 13 [5 favorites]


I found out about this just in time to read some Twitter updates before watching it climb onto the roof in the live feed. Whew.

I had to wonder about some of the well-meaning outrage and armchair advice circulating on Twitter. Smash a window? Send someone up (or down) to catch it? Sounds like a great way to scare the shit out of a feral animal , which would have been a very bad idea under the circumstances.
posted by confluency at 7:52 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


I do wonder how many raccoons are scaling buildings that we don't know about. They're nocturnal, after all...and in the dark, without livestream, would we ever know? (Especially in St. Paul, where the downtown turns into a ghost town after 5:30pm). Raccoons could be climbing skyscrapers (and smaller buildings) every night and the general public could be just now figuring it out.
posted by Elly Vortex at 8:00 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Most of all, I'm glad that the raccoon made it out OK, and enjoying the little burst of community bonding over it all in the Twin Cities.

But: following this by tracking the Twitter hashtag was an amazing catalog of shitty human behavior. Like, 80% of people posting were acting in good faith, but that bad 20% was reallllly bad. Griefers and edgelords posting about how they were looking forward to the fall (my favorite of these, when I clicked through to his profile, was all about how pro-life he was); MAGA shitheads crowing about how the raccoon was like the trump train climbing over the wall of fake news; and tryhard #brands jamming in their pictures of hot chicks in swimsuits or links to their webinars about making money in real estate.

Came away thinking that I like raccoons better than people, even if raccoons sometimes drop trash into my back yard.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 8:15 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]


I had to wonder about some of the well-meaning outrage and armchair advice circulating on Twitter. Smash a window? Send someone up (or down) to catch it? Sounds like a great way to scare the shit out of a feral animal , which would have been a very bad idea under the circumstances.

You would be surprised how mind-bogglingly dumb people can be about feral animals. The National Parks regularly have to put up signage warning people not to try to pet the bears and bison and what-not. I also saw a bunch of dimwits in Yosemite Park trying to surround a deer and corner it against a log so they could get a picture or something. When I asked them what the fuck they were doing, they got huffy and said "we're not going to hurt it!"

"Didja think maybe it might try to hurt you?" I retorted back. They clearly thought I was being a worrywart and scoffed, but the deer had escaped while I distracted them and I let it go.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:18 AM on June 13 [7 favorites]


I--guys, it's a raccoon, it's not feral. It's wild. We have not to my knowledge ever managed to domesticate raccoons and then let them return to the wild, which is what feral means.

I suspect I'm being petty, but to be honest the word confusion is underscoring another level of "people assume that familiar animals aren't really wild" in this conversation for me. No, they really are wild animals. Yes, even when they break into your trash cans or move into your attic. Yes, petting them is still a really bad idea, and so is breaking a window right next to them and assuming they understand that you're here to help.
posted by sciatrix at 8:30 AM on June 13 [12 favorites]


(also christ deer have hooves like knives and those fuckers are lucky that it didn't decide to mash them flat to escape)
posted by sciatrix at 8:31 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


(also christ deer have hooves like knives and those fuckers are lucky that it didn't decide to mash them flat to escape)
Have been kicked by half-grown bottle fed deer, can confirm.
posted by superna at 8:43 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Here's MPR's Evan Frost confirming the raccoon being trapped and removed.

MPR = Minnesota Public Radio
posted by numaner at 8:58 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I do wonder what “removed” means. A little surprised a zoo wouldn’t want a famous raccoon, though that might be problematic. Hopefully it’s somewhere with a loosely-covered trashcan and plenty of available kibble...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:37 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


For the record, I was using "feral" becuase others had and I thought it was the preferred word as opposed to "wild".

I think everyone here are down with the fact that it's "not domesticated so it's not going to act like a damn puppy or anything".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:42 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


I do wonder how many raccoons are scaling buildings that we don't know about.

I have regularly seen them scaling the sides of the three storey buildings in my neighbourhood, so I suspect probably we just don't see it a lot.
posted by jeather at 9:54 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I do wonder how many raccoons are scaling buildings that we don't know about.

Raccoons seems to occupy a sizable portion of central Toronto's house attics - urban raccoons probably climb 3+ story buildings daily.
posted by GuyZero at 9:58 AM on June 13


Wow, that was not an easy climb. I thought the building must have a rougher surface that that.
posted by tavella at 10:14 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


I do wonder how many raccoons are scaling buildings that we don't know about.

Will also climb into the building, into the walls and the false ceiling in the bathroom and freak out and run around the living room destroying nice couches and such. ("what is that sound, that's not a mouse or a rat, outside? no that's in the walls, ohhh sheeet) And it can happen late at night and no one can reach the animal officer so a fun 3-4am adventure in cute.
posted by sammyo at 10:19 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Raccoons will also climb into the top of your detached garage, piss and shit everywhere and when you* try to encourage the dumb thing to leave by using a garden hose, just sit there and take it getting increasingly wet and panicked without actually doing the smart thing and leaving.

* by "you" I mean my former neighbour and he meant well but it did not really go the way anyone hoped, especially the raccoon
posted by GuyZero at 10:30 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


If raccoons like eating pigeon eggs, then they have every incentive to climb St. Paul buildings.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:33 AM on June 13


I loved this final paragraph from the write-up in the Guardian:
It’s rare for a raccoon to receive such positive press in the US. Emergency services receive hundreds of calls each year about raccoons breaking into apartments or preventing people from walking down the street. In May, a man in Michigan called police after a family of raccoons crashed through the ceiling into his living room. In April, the NYPD received a number of calls from scared residents who believed they’d seen an escaped tiger wandering the streets of New York. It turned out to be a large raccoon.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:35 AM on June 13 [11 favorites]


MPR article includes video of the release of the raccoon "on private residential property in the southwest suburbs."
posted by larrybob at 11:33 AM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Because it was there.
posted by srboisvert at 11:43 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Great to see the little girl bounding off into the lush greenery when she was released!
posted by darkstar at 12:08 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Also, the rescuers said that she was very young and it was unlikely that she had had kits.
posted by OolooKitty at 4:23 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Oh thank goodness.
posted by maxsparber at 4:56 PM on June 13


And, since it's MPR, they have raccoon tote bags already.
posted by ckape at 6:05 PM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Also T-Shirts
posted by dinty_moore at 8:02 PM on June 13 [8 favorites]


I love that the moment we discovered she was female, #neverthelessshepersisted became a companion tag to#mprraccoon
posted by tzikeh at 9:28 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Oh my god. I'm glad the raccoon made it! I saw this thread yesterday but I closed it pretty quickly because the raccoon's fate was still up in the air (uh, no pun intended) and I couldn't stand the suspense. I don't even particularly like raccoons! They used to menace us on campus at university, roving in packs. But I would have been pretty sad if this one had fallen. I'm glad she survived!

The video of her release is hilarious--she's feisty to the end: "F U Conservation Officer! I'm not leaving this cage! I like it in here! I'm gonna bite you through the cage! Oh fine, I guess I'll go. Byeeeeeeeeeee!" *zoom*
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:45 PM on June 13 [4 favorites]


I love the image on the grey t-shirt, with the little rascal elbowing up over the wall. :)
posted by darkstar at 10:21 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]




Love that art!

Had a super stressful, upsetting morning today. To calm myself down, I rewatched this little girl being set free (and about a dozen kitten videos). It seemed to help.

Thank you, MPRRacoon. The nation desperately needed a happy ending.
posted by darkstar at 7:30 AM on June 14


For those of you that already have a sustaining membership and want the MPR raccoon tote, you can get one MPR gift per year, and the raccoon tote is one of the eligible gifts. You have to call 800-228-7123 during the workday to request it.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:41 AM on June 14


BTW have to love the seed art reference in the FPP title. I'll be at the Minnesota State Fair for the first time in years and will have to keep an eye out for raccoon seed art.
posted by larrybob at 4:09 PM on June 14


We regret to inform you that the raccoon is racist.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:01 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


We may have to create a new meme, for when you learn that a cute animal is even cooler than you first imagined.

MPRRaccoon is the new anti-Milkshake Duck!
posted by darkstar at 5:17 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


mah name racoon
an it is near
to clime rel high
abov the street

hoomins gawk
they drop ther jaws
an wen they stare
i like mah paws
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:23 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]




Thanks for the 99 percent invisible link, dinty_moore. I hadn't realized before that the site of the raccoon's climb was the same complex as Town Square park. I attended the 1984 Saint Paul Central high school prom in the indoor Town Square park (Prince proteges Mazarati performed.) It's disappointing that the park closed to the public. There was a subsequent lawsuit over water leaks.
posted by larrybob at 5:49 PM on July 3


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