A Cornell University student who slipped from a rain-slick trail and fell more than 75 feet into a gorge escaped major injury when she made a relatively cushy landing atop a soft, plump raccoon.

Lisa Nelson was walking on the wet Cascadilla Gorge trail that separates the Ivy League school from the Collegetown neighborhood in Ithaca, N.Y., when she slipped Monday.Ithaca police said the 20-year-old student plummeted more than 75 feet into the steep, rocky gorge, but she suffered only a broken wrist and other minor injuries after landing on the masked critter.

Police said they believe the raccoon saved the woman's life.

Police Capt. David Barnes said rescue workers found the student and the hapless raccoon lying side by side at the bottom of the gorge.

The raccoon was recovering at a local animal shelter.