The Story of Conrad the Raccoon

UPDATED 9/14/2020

Apparently all it took to unite Twitter users from Toronto was a dead raccoon.

The animal was found on July 9 at the corner of Church and Yonge Streets in the Ontario, Canada, city. But when authorities were alerted to the raccoon’s presence on the sidewalk, they delayed removing the animal’s remains from the busy intersection.

But that didn’t stop Torontonians from having a bit of fun by creating a makeshift memorial for the raccoon and using the hashtag #DeadRaccoonTO” on Twitter.

He even received a name from the Twittersphere: Conrad.

Passersby laid a long-stem rose in Conrad’s arms and placed a framed photo of a raccoon next to him — as if to give him a proper funeral. He was also surrounded by bouquets, cards, and a piece of paper with messages from those who had walked by.

This, naturally, made for a great photo op for anyone who happened to be in the area, which was right outside 819 Yonge St.

Although Animal Services was notified, several hours went by, and still no one had removed the animal’s remains from the sidewalk. By that point, hundreds of tweets and photos had been shared on Twitter, and #DeadRaccoonTO became the most popular trending tag for the Toronto area.

Over the course of 12 hours, tweets included messages like, “Sleep well, my sweet prince, people love you and remember you” and “We Torontonians are a sick bunch. But funny.” Even city councilor Norm Kelly posted several tweets telling the city to pick poor Conrad up.

Road cleanup crews help to curb pollution on roadways and in parking lots all over the world. In the United States alone, they can help save money annually in terms of the health and environmental damages that the pollution from vehicles can cause.

As for the crews in Toronto, it wasn’t until about 11 p.m. that a worker picked Conrad up — and promptly placed him into a trash bag. He will be cremated, apparently, in a city facility.

City officials report that about 40 to 60 dead animals are removed from Toronto roadways each day.

If you’re looking to keep animal pests off your property, there a lot you can do before calling animal control. Depending on where you live and animals around you could be dealing with bats, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, opossums, snakes, birds, and other critters.

To prevent home invasion via vermin, you can set up fences, keep garbage cans and dumpsters tightly closed, make sure your foundation and/or crawlspaces are properly taken care of, and have your roof inspected yearly. These small things can help keep critter clear of your property, to begin with.

If you have a problem, first find out what is living with and if you have 1 or 2 critters, a family of them, or the whole community living with you. The type and severity will tell you if it can be handled on your own or by animal control specialists. For instance, if you have a few mice, a couple of traps of your choice should take care of it but if you have a basement full of snakes, it’s time to call in back up.

Remember to be careful, and get any animal bites or scratches treated to prevent rabies and other infections.

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