HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A raccoon brought interstate traffic to a standstill in Alabama for almost an hour over the weekend by climbing to the top of a light pole on the side of Interstate 565 in Huntsville.

The rescue involved Huntsville police, Huntsville Fire and Rescue, Huntsville Animal Control and Alabama Wildlife Rescue.

Alabama Wildlife Rescue Director Michael Treat was in the middle of releasing a group of rehabbed squirrels when he received a call about the raccoon. He called the police, who shut down both lanes of the interstate over concerns that the raccoon would fall from the light pole and land on a car.

“We were really worried about public safety as well as the raccoon’s,” Treat said.

Huntsville fire arrived with a ladder truck and sent several people up to rescue the raccoon. The animal was caught in a net but leaped out before rescuers could bring it to the ground. Treat said it did not appear to be seriously injured in the fall.

“He got up and ran across the interstate, and we were able to get to him as he got to the wall of the interstate,” Treat said. “So it was a pretty quick and dramatic thing.”

The raccoon was checked out by an emergency vet in the Huntsville area.

Alabama Wildlife Rescue is a nonprofit group that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases small mammals such as squirrels, groundhogs, rabbits and opossums. The organization, a licensed rehab facility for the Alabama Department of Wildlife and Conservation, is one of 14 rescue organizations in the state.

Alabama Wildlife Rescue has taken in about 300 animals so far in 2022, with roughly 100 of them being released.