SAUNDERSTOWN, R.I. — Officials say a raccoon that got its head stuck in a sewer grate in Rhode Island had to be taken to an animal clinic — grate and all — after efforts to free the animal on site failed.

The Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island said Tuesday on Facebook the animal is recovering after being successfully freed by a veterinarian.

The organization says four people had to help move the grate into the surgery room so the veterinarian could work on the raccoon.

They say the animal had been trapped since the night before and its head and neck had swollen too much to be squeezed back out. The clinic used ice and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling before applying “major elbow grease” to free the animal.

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