Ah Toronto, you declare war on raccoon but when it comes down to it, you are a city that cares about critters.
It began with a tweet from Jason Wagar @jasonwagar Jul 9:
@311Toronto There’s a dead raccoon on the sidewalk outside 819 Yonge (at the SE corner of Church).
The response from Toronto’s 311 was:
@jasonwagar Thank you for letting us know. This was reported a short while ago and Animal Services has been notified.
But when it took hours for Animal Services to show up, the good folks of Toronto decided to leave a tribute to the raccoon, which had, after death, picked up the name Conrad.
Soon, pictures of a raccoon and loving tributes including a forlorn cigarette were left beside the dead critter and the hashtag DeadRaccoonTO took to the Twittersphere. By nightfall, the tribute had become a candlelight vigil. The story was picked up in media publications around the world.
City councillor Norm Kelly directed staff to go pick up the raccoon and then joked that as a tribute, people of Canada’s largest city should leave their green bins open.
In April, Toronto Mayor John Tory declared that the city had a foe that he wanted vanquished: pesky raccoons who keep knocking down residents’ green bins.
Tory evoked a little bit of Winston Churchill when he vowed that the city will rise up to the challenge.
“We have left no stone unturned in our fight against the Raccoon Nation,” said Tory.
“Defeat is not an option.
The city underwent extensive testing and consulted an animal behavioural specialist to figure out how to build a bin that would keep out raccoons.
But raccoon knocking over green bins may be the enemy. A dead raccoon on the street, it turns out, can bring a city together.
Almost 12 hours after it was first reported, the raccoon corpse was picked up by Animal Services. The memorial was left behind.