It’s the stuff of nightmares, and one raccoon is lucky to be alive after being trapped in wet cement.
While it’s not clear how the critter wound up stuck at the construction site outside Phoenix, Arizona, but when workers spotted the helpless animal in late June, they called for help.
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center posted photos of the female raccoon on its Facebook page and outlined a pretty scary ordeal.
“The harder this poor raccoon struggled to free herself the further she sank,” the group wrote. “Evening temps were cool that night, and as the cement began to set up, she was losing body heat. It’s a wonder she survived until her rescuers could get there.”
Even though she was scooped out of her concrete tomb, her situation remained dicey.
Her hind end and tail were covered in cement.
She needed IV and a warming blanket to get her body temperature back up.
But the warmer she got, the more quickly the cement hardened.
Rescue workers used clippers to shave off the stiffening fur.
And then gave her a warm vinegar bath.
“As it turned out, the warm vinegar water worked miracles!” the group wrote. “Our patient came out of her bath with healthy looking pink skin.”
Rescue workers also learned some things about their newest patient.
The older female raccoon had raised babies. But she’s thin and her eyes are a bit cloudy.
Still, they don’t see any lasting problems.
In an update Monday, the centre said she’s already gone into an outdoor enclosure.
It may take a while for her hair to grow back.
In the meantime, they hope can step into the role of mom.
“She might be a good foster mother to a set of 4 tiny sibling raccoon kits who seem especially despondent without their mother,” the center added.
It may not work, but the rescue group is going to give it a try.
“It’s obvious she’s been a mother, and raccoons do sometimes adopt orphaned babies,” the center wrote. “…Her wild life has been upended and she may need more time to herself.”