Vegetable oil, dish soap help free trapped baby raccoon stuck in sewer grate

One person estimates raccoon was stuck in there for about 4 to 6 hours

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. - Raccoons are known as crafty and feisty critters. One unlucky raccoon stuck his nose and head into a manhole in Dearborn Heights.

Bill Zimmer, Director of Public Works in Dearborn Heights stumbled upon the small raccoon stuck in a manhole.

SLIDESHOW: Raccoon rescued from sewer grate

"In thirty-four years with the city, I've never seen anything like that," says Zimmer.

Zimmer says he immediately called Water Superintendent Sean Moylan for help.

"I thought this would be something easy," says Moylan. "But when I got there, I saw that raccoon stuck in that hole, I realized it was going to be a little more difficult."

Moylan estimates the raccoon was stuck in there for about four-to-six hours.

"I thought about it a little bit, used a little soap to wiggle him out, but he didn't want to come out at first," says Moylan. "He was a little feisty."

"They usually only run at night," says Moylan. "By now, it was like ten-thirty in the morning, so he'd been hanging there for a little while."

Zimmer says when he got there, he was wondering if vegetable oil would help the situation.

"I picked some up a local store and we tried that," says Moylan. "About twenty minutes of working back and forth we got him loose."

Moylan had some electrician's gloves which helped free the raccoon.

"He latched onto my fingers a couple times," says Moylan. "He didn't have much fight left in him."

Moylan also says he didn't get through the gloves.

"I just pulled my hand out, got his mouth closed, and just kept squeezing his head and wiggling him and he finally popped out," says Moylan. "He was kind of happy about that when he got out."

After a bubble bath and a can of cat food, the raccoon was finally set free and loose into the wild.

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