Life in modern society ain't always easy for humans, so let's cut our animal friends some slack – literally – when they get themselves into sticky situations trying to navigate our unnatural urban infrastructure. It would help, however, if they'd stop trying to use sewer grates and manhole covers as doors. Just sayin'.


10) Tough Luck Chuck

woodchuck stuck in storm grate

Another day, another critter getting its head stuck in a manhole cover. We're pretty sure this wayward Danvers, MA woodchuck's oversized noggin isn't a reflection of highly-developed cognitive skills. On the other hand, its stymied expression tells the fur-bearin' varmint is smart enough to feel shame. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via EH Dome)    



9) Bandit Behind Bars

raccoon stuck in sewer grate

You've probably heard about the remarkable comeback being made by wildlife in and around Detroit. One young raccoon might be enough to ruin that rep, as his attempt to come back through the center of a sewer grate hit a Motor City roadblock.

Luckily for young Rocky, a team from the Dearborn Heights Department of Public Works freed the feisty beast using little more than vegetable oil and dish soap. Pretty slick move, guys! (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via HuffPost UK



8) Nuts To This!

squirrel stuck in manhole cover

One of the most famous (or infamous, if you're a bushy-tailed rodent) incidents of head-stuck-in-manhole-cover-itis occurred two summers ago in the small German town of Isernhagen.

Although initially comical, the red squirrel's predicament was no laughing matter as any passing vehicle could have solved the issue quickly, simply and tragically. Local police took longer – about 15 minutes – but the tale had a happy ending. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via manyone1)



7) Too Much Ratatouille?

rat stuck in manhole cover

No doubt this stuck fast rat had successfully negotiated the ol' hole in the manhole escape route many times before, but making his mad dash home after feasting was a grievous error. He's just lucky a photographer found him before a feline did. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via Got Funny Pictures)



6) Whoah, Camel!

baby camel stuck in manhole

Trust us, there's a camel down there... but not for long, thanks to the skilled and caring firefighters at Ali Base in Iraq! "This was the weirdest call I've ever been on," stated Staff Sgt. Bryan Senecal, crew chief of the 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Rescue Services. "My first thought when we saw him (a baby camel) stuck in there was 'how are we going to get this thing out of here?'"

But get him out they did, thanks to a lot of patience, elbow-grease and a sturdy rope. "I definitely think events like this help us build a better relationship and trust with the locals," added Sergeant Senecal, "because they realize we are here to help them." Them, AND their camels. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson)  



5) Canine Distemperate

A wannabe hell-hound from Lisbon, Portugal was found on March 25th, 2014 with only its head visible above ground. The pup had somehow gotten into a sewer grating on the grounds of a closed school and upon attempting to exit, found its shoulders were wider than its head. DOH!

The single-headed Cerberus was found by five local teenagers who, remarkably and admirably, did the right thing by calling the local animal rescue service followed closely by firefighters and police. Presumably the pup's predicament distracted the coppers from wondering what five teens were doing on the grounds of a closed school. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via Life With Dogs)   




4) Saddle Sore

Million to one shot, doc, million to one! We'd ask this horse how it managed to get stuck in a sewer grate but, well, horses can't talk and even if they could, this one would likely plead the Fifth. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via From The Cab)       



3) No Milk Today

This cow walks into a manhole and... there's no punch line, that's what happened. Try explaining THIS to a 911 operator who thinks they've heard it all.

At least one of the rescuers was thoughtful enough to extend a ladder into the hole so Bossie can climb on out. Let's hope they don't have any udder bright ideas. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via From The Cab)  




2) Oh Grate, Bees

Helpful as they are, there are some animal vs manhole confrontations local police forces want nothing to do with, such as this swarm of bees completely covering a manhole cover in Simi Valley, CA. You'd have to be the son of Satan to appreciate a manhole cover covered, as it were, in bees – either that or a friendly neighborhood beekeeper.

The latter turned down the opportunity to relocate the swarm as it seems “ground-based hives have a better chance of being Africanized, making them more aggressive.” We're sure roasting on hot metal beneath the Simi Valley sun isn't going to improve their disposition much, either. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via HomeGrown Bees)    




1) The Elephant's Grateyard

elephant stuck in sewer

And the award for Most Unlikely Animal Caught In A Sewer Grate goes to... an elephant! To be fair, Blue Whales and Giant Squid weren't on the ballot this year. The poor little pachyderm was out for a walk when disaster struck... as much for the toddler tusker as for whomever was working under the manhole. One doubts either of their insurance policies covers such a circumstance.

All's well that ends well, however, as after much work under a hot tropicsun, the baby elephant was finally extricated from the much-widened sewer grate. At least it won't make that mistake again, being that elephants never forget being caught in embarrassing situations, among other things. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via I Am A Kid


You'll notice none of these in-grate-iated animals are turtles... experience is a great sensei, amiright? In summation, though there's nothing humorous about animals in distress, it's heartening to note that in each case depicted above (well, maybe not the bees), the distressed critter was quickly, carefully and respectfully rescued. What's more, none of them – to our knowledge – has committed the same faux pas twice and that's, er, really grate!