Rarely seen critter rescued from Utah chimney

A strange discovery was made inside a Utah home last week. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) officials learned that a ringtail, an animal in the raccoon family, made its way into a chimney.

The team worked with the homeowner to set traps inside a room with the fireplace, and the ringtail was trapped and released, the UDWR shared in a Facebook post.

A video posted on the agency’s Facebook page shows the animal being released from a cage outdoors as it looks around before running off in the snow.


A ringtail, an animal in the raccoon family, was rescued after getting stuck in the chimney of a Utah home. (Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

Ringtails are small carnivores that are widespread throughout Utah but rarely seen. The UDWR explains that these nocturnal animals feed on insects, small mammals, and fruit.

According to the UDWR, ringtails preferred habitats include rocky deserts and woodland areas. These animals are found near water within habitats among rocks, in small caves, or hollow logs.

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.