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Firefighter’s picture of raccoon with its head stuck in sewer cover goes viral

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Image credit: Lt. Brian Lorkowski, Harrison Township Fire Department.

Emma Stein

Detroit Free Press

Lt. Brian Lorkowski has worked at the Harrison Township Fire Department for about 20 years, but on Tuesday he faced something he has never seen before: a raccoon with its head stuck in a sewer cover.

His department got the call from animal control and drove out to the scene on Clearview Drive and South River Road.

First, they tried putting soap around the raccoon’s neck, but it failed to get itself loose.

They were going to try to use brute force and saw the cover, but it’s made of cast iron so that would have put the raccoon at risk.

“So we didn’t want to do that,” said Lorkowski. “And you know, as you cut, the cast iron was getting hot, so we decided not to go that route, for the safety of the animal.”

Finally, after doing what anyone would do when faced with a new challenge, the Harrison Township Fire Department got creative and used the resources at their disposal.

“We had the homeowner bring out cooking oil,” Lorkowski said. “And that was enough to free the animal. We had someone hold the head kind of and then someone was on the other side pulling the body. And it was able to free itself.”

The raccoon was unharmed.

Contact Emma Stein at estein@freepress.com and follow her on Twitter at @_emmastein.

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