A raccoon stranded on the ledge of an office building in St. Paul, Minnesota, has captivated the world after scaling the skyscraper, safely making it to the top after more than 24 hours.
Onlookers, reporters and social media users fretted about the welfare of the critter as it climbed the UBS Tower on Tuesday, taking periodic rest breaks on window ledges during its gruelling climb.
Crowds on the street were left on tenterhooks as they monitored its progress and rejoiced when the raccoon finally scrambled its way to the top of the roof at 03:00 (07:00 BST).
Animal control officials were waiting on top of the building to try and capture the exhausted mammal, leaving out cat food inside a trap, but it is not yet clear if their attempts have been successful.
Minnesota Public Radio branded the raccoon #mprraccoon, a hashtag that spread around the world and became the top trending topic during its arduous journey.
Tim Nelson, a Minnesota Public Radio reporter, said the animal was “likely on an errant mission to raid pigeon nests on the skyway”.
However many gripped by the drama feared for the raccoon's safety after it went more than 24 hours without food and water, with one Twitter user posting: “Pray for #mprraccoon.”
The woodland creature also had its own Twitter account, which has attracted more than 1,000 followers, with one tweet saying, "I made a big mistake."
The raccoon was first spotted on a ledge Tuesday morning, just a few stories high. St. Paul Animal Control believed it may have been there all night before it started heading skywards. The local CBS affiliate began live-streaming the raccoon's journey as the nation held its collective breath.
As dark began to descend, one reporter said it appeared the raccoon was settling in for the night. Two hours later, however, the raccoon was on the move again as it started descending the building.
The windows on the building also could not be opened, with local fire officials ruling it was too dangerous for the raccoon and crew members to attempt to rescue the animal.
A lot of my fans are wondering why I'm climbing this building. To quote the great George Mallory...because it's there. #mprraccoon— MPRraccoon (@MnPRraccoon) June 12, 2018
Twitter user Justin Boot was one of many who celebrated the raccoon making it to the top, tweeting: “The #mprraccoon is truly a hero of our time. If that little one can climb a skyscraper, what can *you* do?!”
Another posted: “Who else witnessed the greatest moment of 2018 live? #mprraccoon.”
Joel Neill tweeted: “The greatest story ever told. He made it.”