Raccoon Stuck Headfirst After Munching Through Roof Caught in Bizarre Photo

A wildlife expert in Santa Cruz, California, directed a resident on how they can remove a raccoon that managed to get itself stuck headfirst after it chewed through a roof.

The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter shared a post on Facebook and reported that Wildlife Emergency Services received the call on Monday.

A photo accompanied the post, and it showed half of the raccoon's body sticking out of the roof of a house in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

"Knowing that time was critical, [Wildlife Emergency Services] instructed the citizen how to push the raccoon through the hole so it wouldn't suffocate," the agency's post stated.

Stuck Raccoon In Roof
A Santa Cruz, California resident was shocked to discover a raccoon stuck in their roof. Wildlife officials said the mother raccoon was attempting to return to her babies. Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Dmytryk

According to the Humane Society of the United States, a raccoon most often builds a den in a house's chimney or attic, though it can make itself at home anywhere in the structure.

If a homeowner discovers that they have a raccoon living in their ceiling or wall, they are encouraged to first knock on the spot they hear any noise coming from.

"When raccoons are heard in such difficult to access places, a professional should be hired to search for young," the Human Society stated. "If there are no dependent young, you can use mild harassment to encourage an adult animal to leave."

Raccoons may also become trapped in ducts or crawl spaces, which can lead to a few issues.

"Problems that can occur include the accumulation of raccoon waste in latrines and structural damage as, for example, when insulation is pulled down," the agency's article stated.

In some cases, professionals may need to step in to relocate any raccoons living in a house, particularly if there are young raccoons involved.

The raccoon that got stuck in the roof was a mother herself, but she was saved in time.

Rebecca Dmytryk, the founder and CEO of Wildlife Emergency Services, told Newsweek it is not common for raccoons to try to dig or chew through roofs.

Because this raccoon is nursing, Dmytryk said she was "desperate" to get back to her babies that were stuck inside.

She explained that the homeowner recently had repairs completed, and an attic vent containing the raccoon babies was closed off when the mother raccoon was away from them.

"This is her trying to get back to her babies," Dmytryk said.

She told the homeowner it was imperative to act quickly to remove the raccoon before it died from overexerting itself from trying to get to the babies or from heat stress.

The homeowner removed the vents and, with the help of some nearby construction workers, opened up the hole.

"Within probably 30 minutes of me talking with her, she had the hole open and the raccoon had dropped in," Dmytryk said.

For the next few days, they will allow the raccoon to rest before they work together on how to encourage the family to move on using repellants.

"This is a warning to all homeowners and pest control companies, contractors and handymen," she said. "Do not close up holes on the outside of the house without taking precautions, making sure there's nothing inside."

Dmytryk suggested using tissue paper or a newspaper to lightly block a hole from the outside of the house. If it was disturbed, she said there is a good chance that a nocturnal animal is living in the house.

Although it seems like an unusual story, Dmytryk said animals will try to find a place to live with their babies, especially if there is a reliable food source available.

To combat the problem, Dmytryk said it is important to get to the source of it, which is a reliable food source and a shelter for the animal.

She said additional resources can be found at humanewildlifecontrol.org for homeowners nationwide.

There have been other run-ins with raccoons that were shared on the internet.

A fire department in Georgia shared a photo on Facebook showing a raccoon looking "embarrassed" after it was removed from a resident's house.

The homeowner heard something from behind the refrigerator, and firefighters discovered the raccoon staring back at them.

One woman required medical attention after she was attacked by a raccoon as she was putting up Christmas lights outside her home in Lancaster, Massachusetts.

Taking to Facebook, the woman shared photos of the cuts and bruises left on her arms. She noted that she managed to get the raccoon in a headlock as it continued to bite her.

A man recently caught a raccoon with his bare hands during a baseball game and took it outside of the stadium.

Because he was bitten, he needed to receive rabies shots.