More than one political animal has tried to claw its way into City Hall - but a spunky raccoon almost did it Tuesday.
The 25-pound raccoon surprised workers who ventured to the roof of City Hall Tuesday morning.
And it put up a fight when animal control officers tried to remove it from its comfy perch.
"It was one of the strongest raccoons we've come across," said Mike Pastore, director of field operations for New York City Animal Care and Control.
They nicknamed the raccoon "Houdini" after it pushed its way out of a cage and scampered down the scaffolding.
"I had a foot on the cage and I didn't think he'd get out but he got out on me," said Pastore, who later nabbed the pudgy bandit. Raccoons are found in all five boroughs, where they feast out of trash cans.
But they are somewhat uncommon in lower Manhattan where tall buildings outnumber trees.
Pastore speculated that the raccoon hitched a ride on a truck coming into the area and sought refuge on the quiet City Hall rooftop. It appeared to be quite healthy.
"I tell you what, he was well fed," said Pastore. "He was a big boy."
Finding the raccoon a new home might be a challenge. Since it is a rabies vector species, there are restrictions on how and if wildlife can be relocated.
In many cases, raccoons removed from homes and other places have had to be euthanized because they might spread rabies.
But State Department of Environmental Conservation officials left that decision to the city Department of Health, which contracts with AC&C.
"We are going to try to release him in the borough," said AC&C spokesman Richard Gentles. "We're exploring our options."
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election_2009/2009/08/18/2009-08-18_wily_raccoon_claws_way_to_roof_of_city_hall.html#ixzz0Oqky2lQI
Click to view image: '"Houdini"'
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