An animal rescue mission played out in Westport on Thursday when a resident reported a raccoon seemingly stuck in a tree on their property for four days. With half a dozen people and two town districts attempting to get this animal to safety, it was quite the spectacle in this otherwise quiet Westport neighborhood.

Cheryl Aguiar is a wildlife rehabilitator for the state of Massachusetts and watched the entire rescue mission unfold. She was called to the scene by a Westport Animal Control Officer and Mass Fish and Wildlife to assist in the raccoon’s retrieval after a concerned resident made the report.

“It’s common for raccoons to climb trees,” explained Aguiar. “But it is not common for a raccoon to be in the same spot for that many days out in the open.”

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The poor animal appeared to be wedged among the branches and didn’t move for four days.
The tree branch that the raccoon was clinging to was over 40 feet high, so getting him down wasn’t going to be easy.

“Two towns, Westport and New Bedford, came together in a wonderful collaboration to successfully bring him to safety,” Aguiar said.

The Westport Highway Department arrived on the scene with a bucket truck, where the New Bedford Animal Control was able to restrain the raccoon and bring it down safely.

Aguiar transported the raccoon to the Cape Wildlife Center for a full examination, and after spending a weekend there, it received a clean bill of health and was returned to the wild in Westport.

“He was given a second chance,” Aguiar said.

No matter how big, small, wild, or tame an animal is, they deserve a chance at life.

A job well done by Westport Animal Control, New Bedford Police Animal Control, Roadside Wildlife Rehab, Inc., and the Cape Wildlife Center.

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