Masked Intruder In Utah Home Is Released Back Into the Wild

Masked Intruder In Utah Home Is Released Back Into the Wild

Usually the only "visitor" who would enter a home through the chimney is Santa, but that was not the case for one Utah family.

Conservation biologists at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources were notified about a rarely seen animal who found its way into a local home through the chimney.

Officials posted, "We worked with the homeowner to set traps inside the room with the fireplace and, within the day, the animal was trapped and released!"

The animal was a ringtail, a member of the raccoon family, who resembles a domestic cat with a tail like a raccoon. The small mammal is nocturnal and usually found in western and south-central United States and Mexico, but not often seen.

They are excellent climbers who can scale trees, rocky cliffs, cacti, and chimneys. Desert Museum explains how they are able to climb so easily. "They can rotate their hind feet 180 degrees, giving them a good grip for descending those same structures."

In addition to being light on their feet, they have impeccable eyesight and hearing. Ringtails are omnivores who reside in dens and typically avoid people.

Watch the release below.

Biologists safely removed the adorable critter and released it back into the wild. It looked back in appreciation at its rescuer before dashing away through the snow.

The video shared on Facebook shocked some other Utah residents. One person commented, "I've never seen one, didn't know we had them in Utah."

Danielle Finlayson, the biologist who released the ringtail, reassured viewers that it was a wild animal after someone wondered why it didn't immediately bolt out of the trap. She wrote, "It backed out of the trap because it was keeping its eye on me (the one releasing it) and it took a second to realize it was out. Believe me, it’s wild."

Most people are unaware of the nocturnal animals that live and roam near their home, unless they find their way inside. Learn more about ringtails here or by watching the video below.

Andrea Powell

Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.

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