Small raccoon makes big climb up skyscraper in downtown St. Paul

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A daredevil raccoon has been safely rescued after leaving the internet on tenterhooks by scaling a 23-floor building in St Paul, Minnesota.

It brought an end to a day of drama as people around the world anxious that the basketball-sized raccoon would lose its grip as it climbed or slip off a window ledge hundreds of feet above the light rail tracks running down Cedar Street in St. Paul.

"We're hoping the raccoon goes to the top of the building so we can help it out of its predicament", a spokesperson for the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspection said, according to WCCO.

Raccoon stranded on the ledge of a building in St. Paul Minnesota
Raccoon stranded on the ledge of a building in St. Paul Minnesota

"One of my colleagues spotted the raccoon on, kind of the ground floor, sitting on a ledge on Monday - it looked like a brown lump, nearly like a cat sitting there", Evan Frost told the BBC in the early hours of Wednesday.

The raccoon reached as high as the 23rd floor before night fell.

Earlier, St. Paul Animal Control had dispatched officials to the roof to set live traps.

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St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter spun its adventure as a positive for the city's tourism industry - proof that even a raccoon knew Minnesota's capital "is a great place to reach for higher heights".

"Any other measures we think would endanger him".

On the street below, an onlooker thought "Wally" would make a good name for overly ambitious mammal, though Minnesota Public Radio employees - who work across the street - promptly created a hashtag "MPRracoon", which caught on.

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By late Tuesday morning, the critter was spotted a few stories up on a window ledge, its brownish body just a smudge on the building's concrete and mottled stone exterior.

The woodland creature also had its own Twitter account, with one tweet saying: "'I made a big mistake". Concerned that the raccoon had become trapped, Twitter users called for a host of inventive solutions, including sending up a hot air balloon to take the raccoon to safety.

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