Stranded raccoon unites the hopes of a polarized Internet

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      It’s been a tense couple of days for animal lovers everywhere.

      After scaling the 25-storey UBS building in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, a young female raccoon apparently became stranded—or perhaps was just talking a well-deserved rest—for the better part of the day yesterday on an upper-floor window ledge.

      Her adventure began when the raccoon climbed up a neighbouring building, possibly in an effort to find pigeon eggs. When workers were dispatched to remove her, she quickly made a run for the UBS building where she eventually climbed, Spider-Man style, up to the 23rd storey.  By this time, she had unwittingly become something of a celebrity, with press and social media coverage converging at Twitter at #MPRRaccoon.

      During her Tuesday afternoon languor on a law firm window ledge, the raccoon was observed dozing, scratching, and grooming.

      Throughout the ordeal, the raccoon’s adventure was chronicled by Minnesota Public Radio’s Tim Nelson, whose office overlooks the UBS building. And, by the end of the day yesterday, it felt as though a huge portion of the Internet was focused on the raccoon’s struggle.

      The raccoon soon found support from all over. James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy—which featured a talking raccoon—tweeted “I'll donate a thousand bucks to the non political charity of choice to anyone who saves this raccoon. I can't handle this. Poor dude.”

      In a tense week of G7 infighting, high-stakes summitry, caged deportee children, and volcanic upheaval, it was a rare occurrence which—for one brief shining moment—united social media and brought people together across political and social fracture lines.

      Meanwhile, representatives from Minnesota’s Wildlife Management Services attempted to lure the raccoon to the top of the building with a tempting dinner of cat food.

      Events then took a surprising turn last night, as the raccoon began to descend the building, making it down to about the 16th floor.

      Luckily, the story has a happy ending.

      To the delight of pretty much the entire Internet, the raccoon resumed her ascent, and summited the UBS building early this morning.

      Lured into a cage, she was quickly captured. After a well-deserved meal of soft cat food, she was then taken and released at an “undisclosed location”, widely believed to be “the woods”.