A friend's recent Facebook post about an act of kindness which allowed three black bear cubs to escape from a Dumpster ...
... reminded me of something that happened to me a few years ago. I'd gone outside with a bag of trash to toss into our Dumpster, and when I opened the lid, I was startled to see a bedraggled creature moving around inside among the few bags of trash in the Dumpster.
It was a raccoon, which had apparently found its way into our Dumpster by prying up one edge of one of the plastic lids, and had a wonderful time tearing open all of our plastic trash bags in search of edibles, but made a potentially fatal miscalculation -- there was not enough volume of trash inside the Dumpster to allow it to climb out. I'm not sure how long it had been in there -- probably not much more than a day or two -- but it looked absolutely miserable.
I had to help it get out. However, as I understood that handling a wild, dirty and probably pissed-off raccoon is generally not considered a highly recommended activity, I opted for carefully placing the trunk of an old Christmas tree into the Dumpster. It was long enough to reach above the level of the top of the Dumpster, and had plenty of branch stubs to act as paw holds for the raccoon.
Sure enough, about a minute later, from a safe distance, I saw the raccoon's head poke up.
It climbed out onto the edge of the Dumpster, a bit wobbly to be sure, but it made it all the way out, slid off the back, and trundled away into the woods. -- PL