TORONTO – Twitter can unite people in bizarre ways, and in this case, it was a dead raccoon in the heart of downtown Toronto.
The first tweet about the animal was posted at about 9 a.m. Thursday, prompting a quick response from the city that Animal Services had been notified.
But as day turned to night, the raccoon remained on its back on the sidewalk at Yonge and Church, prompting a flurry of tweets and even a makeshift memorial.
It included a a small framed picture of a raccoon, a sympathy card signed by passersby, a single rose tucked under one of its paws and even a lit religious candle. Several notes were left, including one that pointed out the Twitter hashtag #DeadRaccoonTO.
Flowers and notes continued to pile up more than 12 hours after the initial post and even city councillor Norm Kelly chimed in with several tweets urging the city to remove the raccoon.
One person tweeted: “Sleep well, my sweet prince, people love you and remember you,” while another tweeted: “We Torontonians are a sick bunch. But funny.”
Finally, at about 11 p.m., a city worker removed the animal and left the makeshift memorial intact.
The raccoon was then brought to a city facility in the city’s west-end for cremation.
Toronto Animal Services say they have a 24-hour response time when it comes to picking up cadavers and the operation is normally run at night between the hours of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. when vehicular traffic is light.
City officials say between 40 to 60 dead animals are picked up each day.
With a file from Global News