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RACCOON RESCUED: Open Weekend at Ricky church a great success despite teddy bear mishap

 Published on: 1st June 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

A local raccoon has been lauded for his bravery after getting stuck in a tree during a teddy bear parachute at St Mary’s Church in Rickmansworth.

More than 80 teddy bears signed up for the event, held as part of St Mary’s Open Weekend on May 18 and 19. A whopping 58 teddies had been hand-knitted by members of the Knit and Natter group, but some onlookers chose to put forward their own teddy bears for the parachute drop.

One such participant was a raccoon, who had come along to support his knitted peers despite it being his birthday. Beloved by his five-year-old owner, the raccoon was attached to a parachute before being launched off the church tower.

It was at this time that disaster struck. Alongside four other unlucky teddies, the raccoon soon found itself stuck in a tree.

St Mary’s spokesperson and witness Timothy Tims explained: “The raccoon was the first raccoon in the little girl’s class so he was quite a particular raccoon.

“He was, in fact, the leader of all the raccoons and everyone liked him a lot.”

Thankfully, Tim was able to contact a local window cleaner whose business had been advertised in the latest copy of RickyNews. Artemis Tree Services have since explained that team members Aston and Allan successfully retrieved not only the raccoon but a unicorn and a bear from the tree.

A representative said: “[Aston and Allan] used a big shot catapult with a throw line attached to shake the branches and dislodge the teddies. Precision was crucial to target the branches closest to each teddy. After several attempts, they successfully recovered three soft toys, including a raccoon that was happily reunited with its young owner just in time for her raccoon-themed party that afternoon.”

The inaugural Open Weekend was a roaring success. Among the guests were visitors from the recently opened Riverside Care Home, who were accompanied by their carers, and the highlights included a history tour attended by 35 people.

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