Some Of The Funniest, Alarming, And Unusual Cases Of Animals Getting Stuck And Needing Rescue This Year


Madison Dapcevich


Madison Dapcevich

Freelance Writer and Fact-Checker

Madison is a freelance science reporter and full-time fact-checker based in the wild Rocky Mountains of western Montana.

Freelance Writer and Fact-Checker

Remember that particularly rotund rat who thought it was much thinner? Freiwillige Feuerwehr Auerbach

It seems as if every other day some wily animal or another gets itself all wrapped up in some human-made contraption. From taco-stealing bears to soccer-playing deer, we’re rounding off a few of the funniest (and alarming) moments this year capturing wildlife getting mixed up with the wrong human crowd.

That Super Fat Rat That Got Stuck In A German Manhole


The internet had a solid laugh back in February when a particularly rotund rat got itself stuck in a sewer manhole in Germany, prompting local authorities to respond to the small animal’s rescue. A video captured at the scene showed the nine-person rescue team lifting the cover and rolling it to the side before helping the chubby female from her entrapment. Following her rescue, firefighters released the rat back into the sewer.

Florida Aquarium Staff Form Human Chain To Rescue Dolphins Trapped In Canal

Clever thinking by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) helped save a group of four dolphins trapped in a canal earlier this month. Volunteers formed a human chain to create a visual barrier to gently encourage the dolphins to go under bridges on the canal, which officials believe the dolphins perceived as physical obstacles. But don’t go trying this at home. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, similar actions are illegal in the wild and can result in harm to both humans and animals.

Black Panther Spotted Skulking Atop The Rooftops Of Small French Town


A black panther seen prowling rooftops in the small French town of Armentières made headlines in September after viral images showed the feline slinking along the second-story gutter of a block of six houses. It took authorities around 2.5 hours to finally apprehend the aptly nicknamed “Panther of Armentieres”.

The animal’s docile demeanor and well-trimmed claws led wildlife officials to believe that it was being kept as a pet by a local owner. After its capture, the cat was relocated to the Maubeuge Zoo about an hour away from the town.

A Mountain Lion Was Totally Busted Breaking Into This California Home

Then there was the mountain lion that invaded one California couple’s home after appearing to chase after their neighbor’s cat. First reported by local news station FOX40, the couple – who are in their 80s, mind you – say they were watching television when “all of a sudden” they “heard a big bang.” The couple was able to coax the animal into the bathroom where it locked itself inside while the duo barricaded themselves in a room. Responding officers reportedly broke the bathroom window, which the mountain lion promptly leaped to freedom through.  


Young Black Bear Gets Cozy In Montana Hotel Bathroom


Apparently, wild animals have an affinity for bathrooms. A young black bear climbed through a window and got comfortable in the bathroom of a Montana hotel in early September, reported local television station KRTV3. The bear was so cozy, in fact, that wildlife officials had to tranquilize it and carry it outside before releasing it in a more remote area.

Bear Cub Gets Stuck In Dumpster, Requires Police Assistance


While we’re on the topic of bears, let’s venture over to Lake Tahoe, California where a cub become stuck in a dumpster outside of a local motel. As any good sibling would do, a second cub attempted to help its sibling by climbing onto its mothers back to help the other out. When that didn’t work, officers from the sheriff’s department placed a ladder inside of the dumpster so that the little nugget could help himself out.

Hungry Bear Breaks Into Home, Raids Family’s Fridge

Okay, we just can’t get enough of these rambunctious bears. Another California family was caught off-guard when they were watching television and heard a noise coming from the kitchen late at night, reported UPI at the time. When they went to investigate, they were met with a black bear raiding the refrigerator and snatching taco meat and ice cream (I mean, at least it had good taste). The bear apparently entered the home through the family’s garage and police were able to shoo it away by shooting at it with a special bear round from a shotgun.  

Terrified Deer Dangles Above Ground After Becoming Trapped In Fence


Just a few hours away, a deer stuck in a fence in Lodi, California required a full-on fire department rescue, reported the local CBS television station at the time. Somehow, the deer had become trapped between two bars of a neighborhood fence. While trying to break free, the deer slipped and was captured dangling above ground before officials could come to the rescue. Eventually, rescue crews were able to get the animal out of the fence using jaws-of-life steel breakers, and she escaped to safety.

Truck Driver Rescues Another Deer Caught In A Soccer Goal


To be fair, deer have antlers and we would imagine those things are pretty tricky to navigate with. At least, that appears to be the case with one deer who got itself stuck in a soccer net on Long Island. Fortunately for the deer, a truck driver spotted the animal thrashing about and was able to coax the animal to the ground and patiently detangle the net from its antlers.  


A reminder though, in case you find yourself in the vicinity of an animal that appears to need help: contact the authorities or animal rescue first, before attempting anything yourself. Many people have caused more damage by intercepting in a situation they should have left to the experts. 


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