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A trapped skunk leaves birthday gift for rescuer

This young skunk got tangled up in netting in Norfolk, and the town's animal control officer came to the rescue.Norfolk Animal Control

Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and nonevents, most of which never make the news. Here is a sampling of lesser-known — but no less noteworthy — incidents from police log books (a.k.a. blotters) in our suburbs.


Last month Hilary Cohen, the animal control officer for the town of Norfolk, went out to help a young skunk that was trapped in some netting at a golf/baseball practice area on George Street. “That night was my birthday party and of course there was a skunk call,” Cohen explained, “so to lessen the spray smell I donned a hazmat suit, something I normally don’t bother with. I draped a sheet over the young skunk, then put a cut out box over the sheet, slowly pulled the skunk out from underneath and started cutting the netting away from his tail and abdomen. He went on his merry way afterwards albeit both of us were stinkier.” Cohen said the experience didn’t stop her from celebrating her birthday later on. “Three white vinegar showers later, loofah, pumice stone, and just shy of sandblasting another layer off my skin, I was ready for the party,” she said.



The Burlington Police Department has received its share of snake calls in recent months. One such incident was reported at 5:20 p.m. June 13, when police were contacted by security at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center who said there was a “snake stuck in the tire of a Tesla” in the hospital’s parking lot. Police were told the vehicle was in Lot 8, but it turned out that they wouldn’t need to provide assistance after all, because the snake managed to get out itself. According to the log entry, Lahey security reported that “the snake slithered into the woods.”


Another snake complaint came in on June 21, when a woman called 911 and told police that a 3-foot-long snake was inside her vehicle. She said she was on Route 62 near the Middlesex Turnpike, and she was out of the vehicle. “One out of the two snakes observed were removed,” the log entry stated. “The other is still at large. The vehicle owner was directed to hire a pest removal professional.”

And Burlington police received yet another snake call on the night of July 3 at 11:04 p.m., when someone called to report that there was a snake in the lobby of a hotel on Van De Graaff Drive. The caller described the snake as being roughly 18 inches long and orange, black, and white in color. Dispatch told the caller that there were no patrol units available at that time, and advised them to contact a private animal removal service and “call back if the snake does not leave.”


At 5:20 p.m. July 25, a woman called Wilmington police to report that she saw a Navy military achievement medal for sale at a local thrift store and was concerned about that. The log entry stated that “she spoke to staff and they have since removed it from display.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.