Toronto Residents Hold Raccoon Funeral on Sidewalk

Canadians Create Makeshift Memorial For Dead Raccoon

Maybe you see raccoons as pests. Gross, feisty, angry animals carrying any number of strange diseases and knocking over your trash cans. Is that how you think of raccoons? Apparently, you’re probably not Canadian, then. As animal control in Toronto took their time coming to pick up a dead raccoon, the residents of Toronto, one by one, turned the scene into a vigil for the deceased animal. A raccoon funeral, if you will. With the raccoon remaining on the sidewalk all day, the raccoon funeral slowly turned into a social media frenzy, with pictures spreading and #DeadRaccoonTO trending on Twitter. And you thought Canadians were nice before.

A Slow Burn To Becoming A Sensation

The raccoon funeral saga began before there was even a memorial service. At approximately 9:00 on Thursday morning, Jason Wagar, a Toronto citizen, noticed the deceased lying on the sidewalk. He quickly reported it to Toronto via their 311 number’s Twitter account. Shortly after, they responded to let Wagar know that Animal Services had been notified and would respond soon. But as the hours passed, no one from Animal Services showed up, and the raccoon remained lifeless on the sidewalk. Thus began a makeshift raccoon funeral.

Raccoon Funeral a Social Media Sensation

People began posting pictures of the raccoon on Twitter and Instagram. At about noon, someone left him a note saying “Rest dear raccoon. Help is on the way from the city.” Soon after, a flower was placed in his hands, making it a far more dignified raccoon funeral. At about 3, Jason Wagar returned to the scene and took another picture. The raccoon remained on the sidewalk with his note and flower, along with another note and a framed photograph. The buzz continued to grow to the point that Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly tweeted asking Animal Services to pick up the raccoon. They didn’t, and #DeadRaccoonTO became the hashtag associated with the raccoon funeral, even being inscribed in a card for him. More pictures were taken and spread through social media, and when the sun set and the raccoon remained on the sidewalk, candles were lit, turning the raccoon funeral into a vigil.

Animal Services Eventually Arrived

At about 11:00 pm, a worker finally arrived and was photographed by those at the raccoon funeral. The raccoon, who some named Conrad, will be cremated like all other deceased animals picked up by Animal Services. Still, we can be comforted knowing that Conrad, like all great artists, got the recognition he deserved after he passed.


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