The Cutest Creature Got Stuck Inside A Vending Machine When Trying To Grab A Snack

August 19, 2019

In my past, I’ve held a few administrative positions. One of them happened to be in the hospitality industry. If you’ve ever worked in a hotel before, you know that certain tasks are repetitive (like, checking guests in) and others are unpredictable (like, when a celebrity stops by.) One of my jobs was taking a mundane, repetitive task and making it more fun. That’s right — I was in charge of the vending machine.

My hotel only had one, so orders were generally pretty small. But it was still a powerful task for someone who didn’t have much power otherwise. If a new chip came out, I had to analyze whether or not the staff and guests would be into it. I also had to figure out what was selling. But thankfully, I never had to question whether or not those Doritos were actually being purchased, or being snuck out of the machine by a pesky raccoon.

Raccoons have been known for their thievery. But they often get passes because they’re kind of cute. In this case, a raccoon happened to get trapped in a vending machine in Florida’s Pine Ridge High School. It must have been a shocking surprise to whoever just wanted some wavy chips for lunch.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s department posted a photo of the criminal on Facebook. He looks very guilty.

The big question is, how did he get in? Raccoons typically prefer the outside.

This story is very cute, much in thanks to the Volusia County Sheriff’s department — however, inside raccoons are a serious issue. They’re considered wildlife, and shouldn’t be handled by anyone without experience (like, say, a high school student.)

But the mental image of a raccoon eating a Cool Ranch Dorito is pretty fantastic. Raccoons — they’re just like us.

The raccoon was removed safely from the situation shortly after being found. And, the vending machine was (hopefully, fingers crossed) sterilized.

“They put this vending machine on a dolly and wheeled it out to an area where our friend could make his exit to freedom,” the department mentioned in their photo caption. “He did so with a little encouragement, and he’s off to his next adventure.”

The Volusia County Sheriff’s department even posted a video, just in case you wanted to see a raccoon released from a vending machine before. One of the best parts is the “aww” that bystanders let out when he lept to freedom.

As expected, social media couldn’t get over this story. As far as criminals go, this is one we could easily forgive.

Raccoons are very well known for being clever. But even managing to get inside the machine is quite a feat.

The vending machine door functions so that it’s hard to stick your hand in there and grab a free snack. But now we know that they also serve as wild animal traps if need be.

The story is also a great reminder for many of us that it’s important to grab a snack every once in a while. If only we could have figured out the raccoon’s preferences.

Curious about what raccoons don’t eat? SFGate says that raccoons tend to stay away from things that smell too minty, chilies, and tomatoes — even though the latter is more of a preference, and not a rule.

Raccoons have often been linked to garbage, but that’s mostly true with city raccoons. They’ll scavenge for food, but are also fond of eating berries, insects, and sometimes other small animals. Fingers crossed these items also weren’t in that vending machine.

As someone who stocked the machine before, I can’t even imagine what a scare it must have been to see him in there. It doesn’t seem like he was stuck for very long, which is something to feel good about.

Next time you grab a snack, maybe get one extra — in celebration of that very brave raccoon. If there’s a chip company looking for a mascot, he’d make a great one.