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Animal control officers in Jefferson County recently helped rescue a critter that's native-to, but rarely seen in Colorado — a ringtail cat.

Ringtail cats are nocturnal, so it's unusual to see them in the daytime at all, but this one had made its way into an Evergreen home, where it then got stuck up in the rafters inside the boiler room.

Within an hour of setting a trap, animal control officers were able to safely get a hold of the ringtail, and carefully release it into the nearby woods.

Also known as "miner's cats," these agile animals were once kept as pets by settlers because they helped to keep mice out of their cabins. However, rather than cats, they are actually more closely related to raccoons.

JCSO Animal Control explained that these elusive creatures use their long tails for balance while climbing, and also as a defensive tactic against predators.

Officers warn that even though ringtails appear to be cute and cuddly, they are still wild animals and can act aggressively toward humans.

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