Yesterday in downtown Toronto, the mysterious death of a city raccoon flooded social media feeds of residents all across The 6ix. The dead raccoon lying in the middle of a residential sidewalk in the downtown core was reported to the city shortly after 9 AM, however it was not until around 11 PM that the animal was finally removed from the scene.
As the day wore on, the raccoon gained a following. It started with a note, a rose, and grievance, but turned into a full-fledged memorial service and candle-lit vigil as citizens began to feel the city cared less and less.
Here are the most important unanswered questions left in the wake of #deadraccoonTO, the death that has brought so many in the city together.
How did the raccoon die?
Although many were on scene throughout the day, no witnesses have come forward with details as to how the victim died. City officials have not released any information in relation to the death, and there doesn't appear to be any sort of ongoing investigation. Many witnesses claim that it is unclear whether this was an accident, and are calling on the city for action. But since the body was already disposed of, without any proper autopsy procedures, we may never truly know how the raccoon ended up dead on the city street.
How did it get there?
One of the most concerning aspects to this whole debacle is how the raccoon appeared on the corner of Yonge and Church. It is unlikely that the raccoon simply died and rolled over in that position on the sidewalk. Without any visual cuts or wounds on the surface of his fur, we are left with many more questions surrounding the circumstances. The city has yet to release any possible video footage that could answer some questions of what took place around the time of death.
Who the fuck named it Conrad?
Conrad is a terrible name for a raccoon. Are we even sure it's a boy raccoon? I see no indicators of it being a boy raccoon. Someone also decided to name it "trashpanda" as indicated on the donation box next to the body. "The proper authorities will only move this little fella when enough funds are raised. Please! Donate generously to help get trashpanda moved into a proper burial," read the box at the memorial.
Is there such a thing as anti-smoking rac-tivism?
A photo posted at around 8 PM shows the raccoon with an unknown object in hand that appears to be a cigarette or joint. It's obvious that the raccoon didn't put it there, because it is dead. And raccoons don't smoke. Was this an attempt to subliminally convince passers by that smoking really does kill?
Who bought the picture frame?
Someone had time to purchase a frame, print a picture of the raccoon, and come back to the little guy on the street? It's almost as if they knew the raccoon would be sitting there for all that time. How did they have a picture of the raccoon from its earlier years? If this person knew the raccoon so well, why hasn't he come forward with more information involving the death? I summon you to come forward, pedestrian.
What would have happened if Rob Ford was mayor?
If Rob Ford had been around, how long do you think that raccoon would have been lying around there? Not long at all. Rob Ford is a long-time Etobicoke resident, so it's no secret that he knows how to deal with raccoons. These damn city folk don't know shit about how to handle their dead wild life (talking about you, downtown-condo, chi-chi-lifestyle Tory). Ford would have been down there himself to move the little guy, full tracksuit and everything. Ford would have called out the downtowners for their lack of experience and balls to just move the cadaver themselves. He would have done the deed graciously, even though Ford probably has more than enough to move at home.
Was all of this the doing of Norm Kelly?
Although many once thought that Norm Kelly was the boring old uncle of City Hall, he has proven otherwise with his well-curated Twitter feed. Kelly has become known for his humour and online spunk, and was one of the forces behind making the #deadraccoonTO go viral—mainly because of his notable fondness for tweets of Photoshopped raccoon-human hybrid businesspeople. However, if you think about it, if he was the one driving this movement the most, that's fishy. As fuck. Not to mention, the optics seem pretty bad when you think about it.
What has happened to the raccoon since?
There's no sense in beating around the bush. It's probably been burned somewhere. RIP.
Was this all a stunt for a reboot of The Raccoons?
This has not been ruled out and we approve this stunt if it means we get an EDM reboot of the greatest song in Canadian television history.
Is Toronto fucked up?
OK, so our city is a little fucked up. We were able to come together over a dead raccoon on the side of the street. We didn't just give a shit, we gave many, many shits about this dead rodent. Maybe next time one of these guys try to attack you on the side of the street, or knock over your green bin and trash your entire porch, you'll think twice—and think about the one that got away.
We collectively gave so many shits about this dead raccoon on the street that it went viral and started trending on Twitter. Maybe Toronto can do the same for the death of Andrew Loku,a black, mentally ill Toronto man who was killed Sunday by police. Torontonians have an opportunity to actually attend a real vigil tonight, at Gilbert Parkette with Loku's family.
It would be good for us all to have a real conversation for a change.
Follow Sierra Bein on Twitter.