It was a rescue mission for the ages on Thursday when one Acushnet woman reached out to Fairhaven first responders after she and a group of park goers spotted a raccoon hanging for its life on the wrong side of a sewer grate.

Jenn Fincher and her daughter were walking around Cushman Park Thursday afternoon to check out the softball fields, ahead of the SouthCoast girls’ softball tournament coming up this weekend – but their attention was quickly diverted to a group of people gathered around a grate in the parking lot.

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Fincher’s daughter spotted the problem first. A raccoon seemingly fell into the sewer drain and was now clinging to the grates with its claws while the park goers tried to figure out how to save it.

Fincher acted fast and called the Fairhaven Police Department.

“They got there so fast,” she said.

The police officer popped open the grate, but the poor raccoon slipped and fell into the water below. Thankfully, the raccoon landed on a pipe, but now the rescue mission continued as the group of people tried to figure out how to get the little critter out of there.

Courtesy of Jenn Fincher

“I decided to open up the concession stand, I grabbed a field rake, and grabbed some beef jerky,” Fincher said. She placed the beef jerky on the rake and lowered the rake down in hopes that the raccoon would be enticed by the jerky and climb up, but to no avail.

The police officer called for backup, and the fire department arrived shortly after with the proper equipment to get the little animal out.

“The raccoon was pretty mad, and ran right up a tree,” Fincher said, but she and the rest of the rescue team involved were thrilled that the mission was a success.

Just another day on the SouthCoast where animals bring out the best in people.

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