#DeadRaccoonTO honoured by Toronto with sidewalk vigil

Toronto paused to pay a bizarre tribute to a fellow denizen of the downtown, sparking a Twitter shaming of the city's animal services.

Raccoon's lifeless body, on sidewalk over 14 hours, sparks Twitter shaming of animal services

A dead raccoon dubbed Conrad on Twitter may be gone, but certainly won't be forgotten, according to one tweet. The animal was left on a Toronto sidewalk for 14 hours before Toronto's animal services unit was pressed to take it away. (@jasonwagar/Twitter)

Toronto took time out Thursday to pay tribute to a bizarre (and possibly unsafe?) fellow denizen of the downtown.

The homage began with a harmless tweet to the city, after Jason Wagar came across a lifeless raccoon on the sidewalk near the intersection of Yonge and Church streets shortly after 9 a.m. ET.

The city replied promptly, saying animal services had been contacted and the raccoon — some on Twitter dubbed it Conrad — would be whisked away shortly.

However, nobody showed up.

So a memorial began to take shape.

As Conrad lay on the sidewalk, he caught the attention of Norm Kelly, a Toronto city councillor and Twitter legend.

After hours in the summer sun, the hashtag #DeadRacoonTO drew ever more mourners to the scene, despite the fact dead raccoons can possibly carry diseases such as rabies.

Almost 12 hours later, Wagar walked by the scene again and sparked a public shaming of the city's animal services. 

As darkness descended, candles marked the raccoon's unceremonious deathbed.

Kelly then urged the people of Toronto to honour Conrad in perhaps the most fitting way possible: to leave their green bins open for the night. The city's green bins are a sort of El Dorado for foraging raccoons.

Finally, around 11 p.m. ET, a worker arrived to take Conrad to his final resting place.

In typical Norm Kelly fashion, the councillor summed up the moral of the day with a bittersweet thought.


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