From a squirrel with its head stuck in a manhole cover to a raccoon that got trapped in a vending machine.
The human world can be a tricky place to navigate for animals.
Here are six critters that found out the hard way in 2019.
1. A fox in a tyre
A fox was taken across Bristol by the RSPCA while his head was stuck inside a tyre after rescuers feared removing it would harm him.
Inspector Alan Barnes, from RSPCA Bristol Animal Rescue Centre, was called to a storage centre in Bristol in October after workers found the animal caught up in the predicament.
Mr Barnes said: “He was wedged and I didn’t want to hurt him by trying to remove him there and then so we took the whole tyre – fox still wedged – over to our Bristol centre.”
The fox was eventually removed with the aid of veterinary lubricant and was released later that day.
2. A raccoon in a vending machine
A wild raccoon was freed after it was stuck in a high school’s vending machine at Pine Ridge High School in Florida.
Volusia County Sheriff’s office said: “This gentleman was apprehended today while committing a burglary of a vending machine at Pine Ridge High School.”
Officers thanked Deltona Animal Control in Florida and the high school’s guardian Greg McWhorter for their help in freeing the animal from the machine, adding that the animal was “off to his next adventure”.
3. A squirrel in a manhole cover
Firefighters, police and vets came together to free a squirrel that got its head stuck in a manhole cover in Germany.
Firefighters removed the cover, which was in a park in Dortmund, before vets anaesthetised the animal as it was extracted and police stood guard at the now open sewer.
The squirrel was treated for “superficial neck wounds” but suffered no serious ill effects from the misadventure back in June.
4. A raccoon in a grate
A raccoon was rescued by a fire department in Massachusetts after getting its head stuck in a sewer grate in August.
Newton Fire Department reported that the animal had been found with its head sticking out of one of the grate’s holes, and that it took around two hours to free the animal.
Posting photos of the raccoon being rescued, the fire department said: “We were able to rescue a juvenile raccoon today with help from Waltham’s Animal Control. He had been stuck for a while but we are happy to report he is free!”
5. A dog in a cinder block
A Rottweiler puppy named Fifi was rescued by fire services after her head was caught in a cinder block in Florida.
St Johns County Fire Rescue uploaded photos of the rescue mission for the six-month-old puppy, who was freed after the fire department cracked open the block in Hastings.
After a hydraulic tool was used to crack the block and free Fifi, she was said to be “excited to be sniffing around again”.
6. An opossum in a fence
Perhaps the most delicate rescue operation of the year was launched by police in March when they were confronted with an opossum with its genitals stuck in a fence.
After discovering “a couple of pieces of his male anatomy had become wedged between fence slats”, officers in Madison, Wisconsin, used a catchpole to slightly raise the animal before spreading the slats to liberate the trapped appendages.
An incident report from the City of Madison Police Department read: “The opossum slowly waddled off. ‘Going to be sitting in snow someplace for a long bit I bet you,’ remarked the sergeant to the officer.”
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