A Cornell University student who slipped from a trail and fell more than 75 feet into a gorge lived to tell the story thanks to a raccoon.
Lisa Nelson was walking on the wet Cascadilla Gorge trail that separates the Ivy League school from Ithaca's Collegetown neighborhood when she slipped Monday.
Ithaca Police said the 20-year-old student plummeted more than 75 feet into the steep, rocky gorge, but suffered only a broken wrist and other minor injuries after making a relatively cushy landing atop a soft, plump raccoon.
Police said they believe the raccoon saved the co-ed's life.
Police Capt. David Barnes said rescue workers found the student and the hapless raccoon laying side by side at the bottom of the gorge.
"She was on the bottom and there was an injured raccoon next to her," he said.
Nelson was reported in satisfactory condition Tuesday afternoon at Tompkins County Hospital.
Unfortunately, the raccoon didn't fare so well in the end. After being for a while at a local animal shelter and show fairly good progress for some months, he took a turn for the worse and died of complications about six months after the incident.
What is not in the report and it seems to have been the case (our informant told us) is that the girl went 'down' when trying to use nature as the bathroom.
I'm telling you, you can trust animals, just not the 'nature' around them!
PS: if you think this is not a true story, here is the link to one of the few posts online with it.