How one dead raccoon captured the hearts of Toronto

Dec 19 2017, 4:10 pm

A dead raccoon on a busy Toronto street has sparked a memorial and thousands of tweets.

The deceased animal lay helpless on the sidewalk at Yonge Street and Church Street after Toronto Animal Services neglected to pick it up, but someone took it upon themselves to show the city creature some respect as it met the afterlife.

It began Thursday morning when a lone raccoon was found belly-up on the sidewalk.

Toronto wildlife.

A photo posted by Emily Taylor (@emilyjs5) on

One considerate citizen then took it upon himself to alert the city.

Alas, it seemed, help was on the way.

Raccoon update: he’s still here. Someone has written him a card.

A photo posted by Emily Taylor (@emilyjs5) on

Yet, by mid-afternoon, the little raccoon still lay unattended. But while Animal Services minded other business, Torontonians began collecting items for a make-shift memorial.

And then, with the attention of Toronto City Councillor Norm Kelly, who may just be the most entertaining politician on Twitter, #DeadRaccoonTO began to take off.

Then, by nightfall, a candle-light vigil enshrined the raccoon with dozens of messages written in a red sharpie on a piece of paper.

  And then (because Canada):

Meanwhile on Twitter…

And then this happened (because social media):

By the end of the evening, Animal Services finally got around to taking care of the animal, showing up around 8 p.m.

But the mourning wasn’t over.

It seemed, however, that some found the raccoon memorial too offensive (because… Canada… again).

Regardless of whether or not #DeadRaccoonTO was disrespectful, there is no denying its virality on Twitter.