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
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 The Salem News)
9) Bandit Behind Bars
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 Daily Mail)
8) Nuts To This!
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 Daily Mail)
7) Too Much Ratatouille?
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 Piss Your Pants)
6) Will It Play (Again) In Peoria?
Speaking of felines, here's a victim of double jeopardy from Peoria, IL who was rescued by some quick-thinking bar employees – lucky it wasn't bar patrons. Trapped in a storm drain with its head caught in an aluminum soda can, the poor puss probably used up at least one of its nine lives while awaiting rescue.
According to one of the bar staff, getting the cat out of the drain was simple compared to the delicate process of removing the can from its head. Luckily, one of the employees “pulled out a razor blade, and after a few careful snips, out he came.” In related news, it seems bar staff in Peoria carry razor blades. Tough town, tipping recommended. (stuck-in-a-grate animal image via Nothing To Do With Arbroath)
5) Canine Distemperate
A wannabe hell-hound from Lisbon, England 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
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 pratfalling pachyderm was out for a walk in Thailand's Rayong province when disaster struck... as much for the toddler tusker as for whomever was working in the manhole. One doubts either of their insurance policies covers such a circumstance.
All's well that ends well, however, as after three hours of work with a borrowed bulldozer the baby elephant was finally extricated from the much-widened 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 Daily Mail)
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!