One poor raccoon in Toronto had a very rough night, but the city's citizens weren't going to let his life end on a sad note.
Yesterday morning a few citizens noticed the little guy had, er, expired right in the middle of a city sidewalk. Like the good townspeople that they are, they reported the incident to the local authorities for, er, disposal. (Really, there's no sensitive way to tell this story!) It seemed like all would be taken care of and Torontonians could go about their lives not having to be reminded that innocent animals die every day. Right?
It seems that Toronto Animal Services was a bit busy that day, because by noon on Thursday the poor fellow was still splayed out on the sidewalk. Another good Samaritan decided to leave a touching note, as one normally does when they spot a dead raccoon on their way to get lunch. "Rest dear raccoon. Help is on the way from the city." Have more poignant words ever been spoken? Probably.
But then hours later when the furry corpse was still not laid to rest, the people of Toronto decided that they could stand idly by no more. If Animal Services wasn't going to let this guy RIP, they were going to take care of it themselves. And just how did they do that? By creating a makeshift dead raccoon memorial, of course. Passersby left flowers, notes and even a framed photo in remembrance. Someone even had the good sense to leave a Sharpie so that folks who didn't have time to pick up mementos could sign the goodbye card.
Even with all this activity, the city still made no moves to take care of the poor thing. It was starting to seem like he was going to spend eternity there on that sidewalk.
Finally, at 11 p.m. on Thursday (yes, 14 hours after the original request), the city showed up to clean up the body. A municipal worker hopped out of a van and tossed Mr. Raccoon into a garbage bag, and that was that. An abrupt end to what was surely a long life of doing raccoon things. Rest in peace, little guy.
Gone but never forgotten.