File this one under “They don’t teach that at the police academy.”

A Portland police officer managed to safely remove an aluminum soda can from the head of a frustrated skunk Tuesday morning without getting sprayed.

The risky rescue was caught on video by West End resident Tracie Reed, 37, who was awakened before 6 a.m. by a commotion outside her apartment. When she looked out her window, she saw three officers conferring with each other, and the skunk, with a Polar seltzer can stuck on like a helmet, banging into a neighbor’s recycling bins.

“There was some strategizing that went on for a little bit,” Reed said. “Obviously it’s a delicate situation.”

Then – perhaps after drawing the short straw – one officer approached the wayward animal.

Someone tossed the officer a beach towel, and after covering the animal up, the officer simultaneously removed the covering, untangled the aluminum can, and fled from the danger zone.

“He did an amazing job,” said Reed. “It took him a while, the skunk was coming toward him. And then he performed the maneuver of pulling the towel off and the can off in one smooth motion. And then the skunk was on its way, and no one got sprayed.”

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