MISHAWAKA--Sunday afternoon, Sept. 12, a raccoon was discovered in the Dining Commons. Several students and staff noticed a striped tail hanging down from a section of the ceiling that appeared to be buckling under the weight of the animal it was supporting. Linda Llera, a Sodexo cook, was working at the time and was among the people who saw the unexpected visitor.
“Its tail kept going up and down from the ceiling for three hours,” Llera said. “It was the first time I’ve ever worked with a raccoon… I didn’t really enjoy it much.”
Llera passed on information about the raccoon in the ceiling to Sodexo General Manager Jennifer Moritz, as well as campus safety, who, after confirming the presence of the raccoon, advised they reach out to maintenance as well. Moritz decided to seek out help from someone who regularly dealt with wildlife and would relocate the raccoon quickly and without harm.
“I called for two hours trying to find anybody to come get it,” Moritz said. “A guy from Niles called me back from Awesome Critter Getters and said he would meet me here.”
Upon arrival, the company representative discovered an entry point in the roof that the raccoon used and set a live trap for when the raccoon decided to leave. On Tuesday morning, Sept. 14, the raccoon was found in the trap and was retrieved by the Awesome Critter Getters representative.
“I told [the representative] that we have to save it, we can’t be killing it,” Moritz said. “He told me that he released it into one of the wildlife areas around here Tuesday afternoon.”
Moritz also confirmed that the hole the raccoon used for entry was patched up by maintenance to prevent more critters crawling into the ceiling of the dining hall.