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City workers free baby raccoon from grate

June 22, 2012 at 2:48 PM

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich., June 22 (UPI) -- Municipal workers in a Michigan city said they freed a baby raccoon that became stuck head first in a large iron sewer grate.

Dearborn Heights Emergency Manager Robert Ankrapp said Department of Public Works Director Bill Zimmer was in his front yard Wednesday morning when he noticed the baby raccoon, which apparently became stuck while climbing out of a storm drain along Ecorse Creek, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

Ankrapp said Zimmer called on DPW colleagues Don Sepanski, Sean Moylan and Carl Kennedy to help him carefully remove the manhole cover.

The emergency manager said the crew used "a quantity of vegetable oil and dish soap ... and a little TLC" to free the raccoon.

"The furry friend was freed and placed in a cage for a trip to the DPW yard for a much-needed shower," Ankrapp said. "Once cleaned, watered and cooled down, the unharmed raccoon was set free in a nearby wooded area to enjoy the rest of the day's heat wave in a familiar (but cooler) habitat."

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