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In the city, raccoons often use the storm-sewer system to get where they need to go.

It is a dark and relatively quiet “raccoon subway system” that allows them to travel without being bothered by humans or predators. Many sewer grates have a large opening near the curb that raccoons use to enter and exit the sewer system.

 Blake, however, had a little trouble judging size and space. From inside the storm sewer, he looked out through the sewer grate and wanted to be on the outside, but this sewer grate did not have the large hole at the curb that he usually used as an exit. He crawled up to the grate and poked his nose through. He smelled the fresh air and cautiously pushed his head through the grate. But, he couldn’t get his shoulders through! Backing out was impossible, too. Blake was stuck.

When raccoons are scared or stuck, they make a lot of racket! Poor little Blake screamed and cried, which attracted the attention of some concerned people. Luckily for Blake, they called our Wildlife Hotline to request our help and we sent a rescue volunteer to assist Blake.

When our volunteer arrived, all she could see was Blake’s head sticking out of the grate. Blake was terrified by his predicament and struggled so much that our volunteer rescuer called a WHS wildlife staff member for more help. Blake was given a sedative so that he would calm down and could be safely handled. Once Blake was sedated, they were able to wiggle and maneuver his head and free him from the sewer grate.

Blake was brought back to the Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where he was given a thorough examination. Fortunately, Blake was not seriously injured by his scary and stressful ordeal. We provided Blake  with a night’s rest and a good meal and he was ready for release the next day.