A raccoon that was living on the roof of a 43-story federal building in downtown Chicago has been released in the suburban wilds to fend for himself.
The Kluczynski Federal Building is undergoing a facade restoration and is flanked by scaffolding that construction boss Tony Slavic suspects was the raccoon's pathway from the roof to street-level dumpsters, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.
He said when a worker sighted a raccoon on the 36th floor platform, he joked about the man drinking too much at lunch. But other workers started reporting the animal, which always bolted up the scaffolding out of sight, and one snapped a picture with a cell phone camera.
Biology professor Joel Brown of the University of Illinois at Chicago said raccoons react to a threat by retreating to a familiar place, so the fact it made for the roof likely meant it was living there, Brown said.
Slavic confirmed it by placing a humane trap on the roof with a can of tuna, and after one attempt where the tuna disappeared, caught the raccoon and released it in a wooded area near his home.