Raccoon in the City
July 9, 2015 10:00 PM   Subscribe

A raccoon died on the streets of Toronto. Once Twitter got wind of it, the people began to mourn even spawning his own hashtag. City Councillor Norm Kelly (formally Deputy Mayor during the Ford days) got into the fun, tweeting the memorial progress. Then, the city came and took away our fun. Toronto has always had an interesting love/hate relationship with the raccoon. They seem to be everywhere, in the green spaces, in our garbage and even up a condo tower mid-construction. Earlier this year, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the war on Raccoon Nation, introducing a new organics bin designed to foil them. The city of Toronto produced a jazzy surveillance video of raccoons testing the new bin. Also, there is a Toronto raccoon that tweets his waddling adventures, as well as the occasional defecation. Toronto raccoons previously on mefi.
posted by typewriter (58 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Sadly, I can't find video of councillors Mammoliti and Karygiannis role-playing raccoons in order to prove that the new bins aren't good enough, but there are some pics in this Torontoist story.

(And despite my recent shitty experiences with raccoons, I swear that I was nowhere near Yonge and Church today. Deadlines! Big scary deadlines! Staying close to home with occasional MeFi hooky!)

Also please notice that Toronto is posting and talking about raccoons, not the Pan Am games starting tomorrow. Maybe there would have been more interest if the mascot had been a raccoon instead of a porcupine.
posted by maudlin at 10:12 PM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

It's the framed photo of a raccoon that really makes the memorial.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:17 PM on July 9, 2015 [26 favorites]

I saw a real live raccoon for the first time last year, in New Orleans. Also at least one that was probably not alive, given that it was "resting" by the side of the road. I was seriously disappointed. Where was the playful scamp, the our roguish friend of the forest with the darling mask and cunning fingers? This guy was not at all like the ones I expected from watching Disney: it was grey and black with thin, wraithlike talons and a mouth full of sharp teeth.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:20 PM on July 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

I walked by this in all its glory this evening. I felt an air of disappointment more than anything else. I think I would have felt vastly different were it a taxidermied raccoon rather than a corpse lying in some kind of perverse state. but hashtags win again, I guess.
posted by oog at 10:28 PM on July 9, 2015

I clicked on the links expecting to find them funny, but actually seeing the raccoon's body posed to hold a drug store rose and surrounded by fake condolences turned out to be disturbing and sad.
posted by rue72 at 10:29 PM on July 9, 2015 [10 favorites]

Joe in Australia: “Where was the playful scamp, the our roguish friend of the forest with the darling mask and cunning fingers?”
I guess it depends? 20 years ago I worked in Piedmont Center, a tony business development in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. Very late one spring night, my buddy and I stepped out to the second floor promenade to have a smoke. Below us on the paths surrounding the fountain we could see one of those pebble-stone fixed trash cans that you often see in such developments.

As I was watching, out from the nearby bushes strolled a raccoon. Then another. Then another. I nudged my friend when the three of them sidled up to the trashcan and started investigating. Stretched out, one of them came maybe halfway up the side. "Poor little guys," I thought to myself. "I know there's good stuff in there too. Lots of people ate lunch by the fountain today." One of them stretched and stretched , but couldn't come close to getting into the trash.

Then he kind of took a few steps back with his back paws, and walked his hands down the side of the can, making a 45° angle or so. One of the other raccoons climbed up and stood on the shoulders of the first one. The third guy then ran up their backs and right into the trashcan. He proceeded to start tossing out everything worth eating before climbing back down his buddies. They gathered up their loot and slunk back off into the bushes. The whole thing happened in the span of maybe three minutes.

We went back upstairs and told the story, but nobody ever believed it.

This thing today? I thought this was more sad than anything else too.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:09 AM on July 10, 2015 [10 favorites]

I love raccoons. At least, the furry personification of the little masked bandit that will dip the cracker you offer in the bowl of water, until there is no cracker. The one who sneaks out from under your front porch, with kits in tow, that scare the fuck of the cats, and rightly so. I've a blue spruce they scamper up when I say, "Boo!"

Raccoons tend to be large and nasty, and I don't wish them to be roadkill. They're merely more cute than the opossums that sneak out from under the same front porch. For goodness sake, if there's a dead raccoon on the sidewalk, please have the grace of removing it, whether to a bin or a grave, take your pick. But this is morbidly ridiculous.
posted by wallabear at 12:19 AM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Then he kind of took a few steps back with his back paws, and walked his hands down the side of the can, making a 45° angle or so. One of the other raccoons climbed up and stood on the shoulders of the first one. The third guy then ran up their backs and right into the trashcan. He proceeded to start tossing out everything worth eating before climbing back down his buddies. They gathered up their loot and slunk back off into the bushes. The whole thing happened in the span of maybe three minutes.

Send them this.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:02 AM on July 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

So, two nights ago, I got home from work (~12:45am) and of course my girl cat Nancy wanted immediately to be put outside. So I put clipped her leash to her harness and put her out the front door, with a small porch and three steps down to ground level, and put the ring end of the leash around one of the wrought-iron curlicues out front, and let her be. She was out for, I dunno... 45 minutes, an hour? She likes being outside.

She meowed to come in, and so I let her in, and of course my boy cat Rocky HAD to go out. So I clipped the leash to his harness and put him out front, and then went inside. Was only a couple of minutes when Rocky, who is not the most butch of boy cats, started making sad kitty noises outside. He does this a lot, because he craves attention and because he's scared of basically everything. I mocked him from inside the house for a while, you know... like you do. But then I thought, well, maybe he wants to come in, he doesn't really like being out...

So I went over and looked out through the screen door, to see Rocky curled up against the center of the door and HE WAS SURROUNDED BY FOUR RACCOONS!

Like, they were all on the porch part of our little concrete porch-step thing. My cat, and FOUR FUCKING RACCOONS all just inches from him!!! I said, "Oh HELL NO!" and opened the door. Rocky sort of went along the door as it opened and then darted inside, and I unclipped him. Then I stepped out onto the porch, and the raccoons didn't even move.

I stomped my big black work boot and started scolding them. "Go away, this is ridiculous. Go the fuck away!" And they scurried off the porch and into a low-spreading juniper bush in the strip between the sidewalk and the roadway next to the house.

The bush was full of chattering and rustling while I stood on the porch, leaning on the wrought-iron railing, scolding firmly "You do NOT belong in that bush! You do NOT live here! You need to fucking LEAVE NOW!" and on and on etc etc...

Finally this small raccoon comes tumbling-scurrying out of the bush, followed immediately by a much bigger raccoon... and that's when I realize, this is Mama and her kits... Two more smaller ones soon come tumbling out, while Mama looks me directly in the eye and starts fucking raccoon cussing me out.

She's totally talking smack back to me while I continue to scold her, telling her she doesn't live here, she can't stay here, she has to get on her way. She's getting more cross and my language is getting a bit louder and a bit more blue... What are my neighbors thinking, I'm standing here yelling at a bush at 1:45am?

But she snorts in disgust and moves behind her kits and literally pushes them down the sidewalk, down the hill. I hope they actually left my property.

I go inside, and sit down at my computer and have barely refreshed a tab when there is this scurrying and trilling coming from that same fucking bush! They fucking came back!

I storm outside and stomp my boot on my front porch and start scolding the bush once more, like some peculiar madman. "You did NOT come back to this bush! You will leave here RIGHT NOW! I will not FUCKING PUT UP WITH THIS!" Stomping my boot repeatedly for emphasis.

All the while, the bush is rustling and trilling, a new sound from the cussout from Mama earlier...

And suddenly out tumbles this much smaller, differently colored raccoon. A fifth raccoon! Left behind! (Bitch Mama) I point in the direction that the others had gone and scolded and stomped until that one, too, went down the hill.

That was one of the freakiest things I've ever had happen to me. Thanks, raccoons. Or um... Yeah, move along now.
posted by hippybear at 2:29 AM on July 10, 2015 [49 favorites]

What's a raccoon?

/clicks link

Oh, a trash panda.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:48 AM on July 10, 2015 [31 favorites]

At least among my network of reading/social media, there was more expressed sorrow and more discussion about the raccoon than Andrew Loku. Absolutely not to cast aspersions at anyone. Just..yeah.

Also, fuck raccoons. Got clawed out by a mama protecting her kids back when I lived in Kingston for no reason.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:14 AM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

A toilet bear!
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 3:47 AM on July 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

That city of Toronto video of their new animal-resistant bins: Generous footage of raccoons trying to climb up on top of it. It looks challenging. Eventually they succeed and knock it over. They start trying to open it, and after a brief moment of that effort the video editor decides this is a good point to end the show. I think we can assume the trash bin lost the contest five seconds later.
posted by sfenders at 3:47 AM on July 10, 2015

I had never seen a raccoon in real life until I moved to my current city. Shepherd and I were walking down a downtown street in the early evening when I saw in front of an apartment building a giant fucking raccoon. It looked like a medium-sized dog. It just sort of stared at us like "What? You wanna take a picture? It'll last longer" and continued to rummage through the trash.
posted by Kitteh at 3:52 AM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Great story, hippybear.

We, too, came home one night to find a very large raccoon on the front porch, happily snacking on the kibble that we put out for a couple of neighborhood cats. This is in DC, but we live near the parks around the Anacostia where there are raccoons, deer and all kinds of other wildlife. So we were surprised, but not very.

Shooing and scolding really didn't do much but entertain him. Getting a broom and using it to gently herd him off the porch was a little more effective, but I was surprised at how heavy he/she was. Pretty solid little bastards, they are.
posted by Thistledown at 4:31 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

"That's Swimp, he's here all the time." - Rob Ford, while stealing an order of poutine to feed a raccoon.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:31 AM on July 10, 2015 [6 favorites]

A raccoon died on the streets of Toronto.

No suspects yet. I recommend police check the next room at the hoedown.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:34 AM on July 10, 2015 [12 favorites]

I like raccoons. They're one of that rare class of animals who we haven't managed to push off the land, along with squirrels, pigeons, seagulls and rats. For some reason people dislike animals that won't be conquered. Yes, they're smart. Yes, they're pushy. Yes, that is necessary to their survival.

They climb the walls surrounding our condo's outdoor pool at night so they can wash things. They slip down on the first step down into the pool and splash around and then scale the wall to leave again. Brick walls. Might as well have offered them a ladder!

Also it does not surprise me at all that Norm Kelly loved this. He is totally worth following on Twitter.
posted by heatherann at 4:48 AM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

A raccoon died on the streets of Toronto.

No suspects yet. I recommend police check the next room at the hoedown.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:34 AM on July 10 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]

That's it. End of thread. You win.
posted by Thistledown at 5:00 AM on July 10, 2015

I grew up with two raccoons. We lived in western PA where there was an occasional tornado, and one night one ripped up the forest next to our home. In the stillness that followed we heard wailing and my father waded into the debris, emerging with two kits. He reported that their mother and a sibling had been killed. The babies had not yet opened their eyes. My mother fed them with toy baby bottles with the cut off fingertips from rubber gloves as nipples, using a formula she was given by someone at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Hans and Fritz thrived and were part of our family.

They could both be cuddly or ornery depending on mood and their intelligence was impressive. Watching their faces when they were given something particularly exciting--maybe a shiny toy or a treat like a hard-boiled egg--gave us no end of delight. Hans loved to ride around the neighborhood in the basket of my bicycle, leaning forward into the wind with his natural goggles. My sister and I both had bite marks from bad moods but accepted that as the price of living with untameable things. I particularly remember the way they smelled--not-unpleasant, very wild--and how it felt to dig my young fingers deep into their incredible coats, long, hard and shiny on top with a rich, warm undercoat beneath.

Every spring they would turn combative, so we'd let them return to the forest to do their thing, and a month later they'd be back like a couple of kids who'd seen the world and were ready to return home. After five years we had to move; they were taken in by a wildlife rehabilitator and enjoyed pretty swank quarters after that. I've always been grateful that my parents were patient with all the wildlife that found a way into our family.

The image of the dead fellow on the sidewalk made me sad. Also, a dead raccoon could potentially harbor many nasty things, it is not a prop for humor and should be given a dignified burial, hopefully something involving a flaming Viking ship and a sunset.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:07 AM on July 10, 2015 [20 favorites]

I'm glad to read that some others find the concept of mocking a dead animal's corpse a bit ick. Somebody I follow on twitter had posted a few pics which I flipped right past. I didn't realize it had become a whole thing.

(And I'm reminded what diverse places we come from that so many MeFites have never seen a racoon in person!)
posted by NorthernLite at 5:23 AM on July 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Here, have a video of a mother raccoon trying to teach her kit how to climb a tree

I was heartened to see that racoon students pay no better attention than college students. At least the kit was playing with a phone.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:25 AM on July 10, 2015

Damn, Toronto, you're cold.
posted by indubitable at 6:41 AM on July 10, 2015

Might as well have offered them a ladder!

Earlier this year in Toronto: This is what a raccoon looks like at 700 feet.
posted by Kabanos at 6:45 AM on July 10, 2015

Some Toronto neighborhoods celebrate the raccoon.
posted by Kabanos at 6:47 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Trash pandas, ha, I am going to start calling them that.

Nearly got a heart attack when my tiny cat was out on the porch and I heard a weird noise and I saw him trying to bat at a giant raccoon (more than twice his size) who was thankfully neither rabid nor paying any attention to him.

Angry or cornered raccoons are dangerous and fucking scary. I don't mess with them. I hope my cat has learned not to either.
posted by emjaybee at 7:25 AM on July 10, 2015

I walked past this very raccoon yesterday and thought, omg am I on Juste Pour Rire Les Gags?
posted by SassHat at 7:30 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

The first ever raccoon I saw was at the Toronto Zoo on a school field trip in the 80s. And they were everywhere, near every trash bin. Interesting to know that things haven't changed much. I wonder how far back this raccoon epidemic goes.

I have a love-hate relationship with them now. On one hand, it's impossible not to respect their cuteness, ingenuity, intelligence, and teamwork. On the other hand, the little bastards invaded my garden a couple years ago and took one bite out of every plant, so they are now my arch-nemeses. I'd predict that raccoons and crows will inherit the earth, but for their reliance on humans to support their populations.
posted by tempestuoso at 7:41 AM on July 10, 2015

No raccoons where I live, so I'm not used to them at all. A little over a year ago, I was in Toronto. I got in late, and then the hotel I was at was overbooked but they had arranged a room for me at another, smaller boutique-like hotel that was somewhere around Dundas & Spadina. So by the time I checked in it was late, but I was hungry and I knew Spadina was close by and figured I would walk over there and down until I found something open where I could grab a bite. Anyways, I cut through a little housing complex because I figured it was faster.

On my way through, out of the corner of my eye I saw something walking along the pathway, but I figured it was a cat. And then it got closer and hissed at me and reared up a little, and I saw it was a pretty good sized raccoon. Made me jump; I had no context for anticipating seeing one, nor that it would be territorial.

It was kind of cool, actually, to be confronted by a bit of wildlife in the middle of the urban density of downtown TO. When I came back from dinner, I cut through the same complex because I was kind of hoping to see it again.

You go, raccoons of TO.
posted by nubs at 8:20 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

They're merely more cute than the opossums

I used to regularly denigrate and mock possums, until I found out that they are basically immune to snake venom and don't get rabies. Then those digusting, rat-tailed trash rummagers gained my grudging respect and I felt bad for all the ones my dog straight up murdered.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:59 AM on July 10, 2015

I used to be roommates with a guy who'd hoover up lines of white powder like they were his only source of oxygen.

I come home one night, and there is a giant fatass of a raccoon in the middle of the living room floor. "Billy," I says. I says, "Billy, what is that?"

"This cat wandered in from the balcony. Isn't he cute?"

"That is not a cat, Billy. That is a possibly rabid raccoon. The little burglar mask is a dead giveaway."

"...are you sure?"
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:05 AM on July 10, 2015 [8 favorites]

Also for those not from here, it's been a weird few weeks for animals in the city. There was the peacock. Then just a few days ago a friend of mine had her apartment building door knocked down by a deer. (Which apparently necessitated the involvement of ten cops?)

And now poor #deadraccoon
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:20 AM on July 10, 2015

There was the peacock.

So my sister lives out in the country with her grandson and they keep chickens and a turkey and some other livestock. One morning he comes running in and says "Memee, you have to come see this BEAUTIFUL turkey in the yard." "Yeah, yeah," she thinks, but he insists. And damn if it isn't a peacock, strutting and showing off his tail for the confused chickens. (Thankfully no roosters, because they would have lost their minds).

She kept him. No idea whose he is or where he came from; no one in town claims him. She's thinking of getting a peahen, apparently the eggs sell pretty well.
posted by emjaybee at 9:45 AM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Canadian Geographic has just told me that the raccoon’s English name comes from the Algonquian word arukan, meaning “he who scratches with his hand.”
posted by Kabanos at 9:58 AM on July 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

With the Games starting today part of me is kinda hoping that some radiation or doping accident turns the bloody stupid Pachi into some rampaging monster tbh
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:01 AM on July 10, 2015

I love to hate to love the little critters. Grew up with them everywhere in Fairfax County, VA. The county also replaced the trash bins to be harder for them to open in the mid-90s and so instead the chewed a hole in the plastic lid so that they could reach their weird little people hands in and just grab handfuls of garbage. But they are awfully cute! I recall one memorable occasion when my parents' cat was staring intently out of the french doors on the ground level, and upon closer inspection 4 little fuzzy balls of baby raccoon were staring just as intently back at her from the other side of the glass.

RIP Toronto Raccoon. May you live forever in our memory. And may no one try to take home the now-gross flowers on the street.
posted by capricorn at 10:27 AM on July 10, 2015

My stepdad works in wildlife rehab and we got to foster a couple of wee little kits over Christmas one year. So adorable I wanted to die.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:29 AM on July 10, 2015

Few years ago, we had a raccoon living under our porch. Periodically he'd come out and chill on the porch itself. The cats would see him through the window and absolutely flip their shit. The raccoon would just sit there and watch them, sometimes for an half hour or so, and then eventually get bored and waddle off to pillage the trash cans. But he seemed honestly entertained by the show the cats put on nightly for him.

He made such a damn mess of the trash cans that I sometimes thought pretty had about just leaving some cat food out for him, as a sort of "harm reduction" plan (the harm being to my sanity at having to clean up garbage). Figured it'd make him lazy and dependent, though, and then I'd just end up with a de facto outdoor pet. Asking the neighbors to come over and feed the cats and oh hey can you also leave food out for the porch raccoon? whenever I went on vacation... but yeah, it was tempting.

This year he seems to have moved along and we have a family of foxes instead. The cats don't find them nearly as worthy of yowling at.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:30 AM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

+1 for "kinda bums me out."

The apparent reverence shown for such a pedestrian occurrence, though, reminds me so much of the time I went to a very large music festival as the guest of a moderately well-known dude who also happens to be one of the most emotionally unvarnished, exquisitely sensitive human beings I've ever met. We were walking all over around the festival grounds arm-in-arm before his set, stopping by to see a band or two and occasionally getting recognized by people who wanted his autograph or whatever. At one point I wandered off while he was signing some things and taking photos with folks, and when I returned to where I'd left him, I couldn't find him anywhere.

I started to get my phone out to drop him a text and see where he'd gone, but before I could finish, he literally popped up from behind a nearby bush, hands held delicately in front of him, carefully cradling something in his stacked palms. He looked devastated, furrowed brow, sad wrinkles next to his eyes, fallen shoulders, the whole nine. I started to ask him what was wrong when he held his hands out toward me and I realized that he was carrying a small dead bird, probably a sparrow. I said, "Oh, no, you have to put that down! I'm sorry, but you can't help him now." He sagged his shoulders some more and said, SO sadly, "But then no one will care for him and he'll be thrown away like trash. He's not trash. [long pause, collecting himself] We have to give him a proper service. He was alive and now he's gone, we have to pay our respects."

Some people spotted dude and started to approach us while he still had the dead bird in his hands so I tried to avert the imminent disaster by yelping, "Sorry, we'll be right back!" and putting my arm around dude's shoulder to whisk him away. After a minute or two, we stealthily circled back around to the bush where he'd found the bird, ducked down, laid it on its back in a mostly-covered spot, and pulled some grasses and wildflowers to cover it up in a ceremonial-looking fashion so no one would disturb it in its final repose. Dude stood up, bowed his head and gave a traditional prayer from his homeland, went silent for a minute or two, then gave me a solemn nod to indicate that the service was over. And for my part, I made sure we hit up the restrooms right away so we could wash our hands before he went back to signing autographs.

At the time I thought it was weird and almost obscenely over-sentimental, but as I've aged and continued to develop into a full-throated crouton-petter, someone who whispers a quiet apology and occasionally sheds a genuine tear whenever she sees roadkill, I've come to realize that mostly, I just wish we all had the heart and time to do this for every one of our fallen animal frands. #RIP, raccoon buddy.
posted by divined by radio at 10:31 AM on July 10, 2015 [8 favorites]

In other Toronto wildlife news, Pachi the Pan am/Parapan Games porcupine was struck and killed by a black Cadillac Escalade while crossing Lake Shore Boulevard early this morning. The driver did not remain at the scene.

A moment of silence will be observed for Pachi before the opening ceremonies this evening.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:47 AM on July 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

"We are groot!"

*pours garbage juice on the ground*
posted by Fizz at 11:55 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Police didn't give a shit about Pachi, but were searching for the driver, who had been driving all alone in a sacred PanAm High Occupancy Vehicle lane.

Police eventually stopped a certain rowdy Etobicoke man, who was quoted as saying, "Listen buddy, I was high when I was occupying the vehicle!" He was slapped in the head and released.
posted by Kabanos at 12:30 PM on July 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

*slow clap*

that was beautiful
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:33 PM on July 10, 2015

The raccoon memorial was hilarious in a sick way.

I live in Toronto, and raccoons definitely make their presence known in this city. My next door neighbour once told me she looked out into her backyard to see TEN raccoons, which she claimed was the result of the previous owner of my house not disposing of her garbage properly. Raccoons tore a small, square opening in the heavy-duty plastic composter that's in my garden, and they frequently pull eggshells and other refuse out of it. I have an attic workroom where I spend most of my working hours, and on the wall several feet from my desk, there's a glass door that looks out onto a rooftop patio. Sometimes a raccoon appears on the step in front of the door and just sits there for as long as a few hours, staring in at me and ignoring my cat Trilby's aggressive and repeated challenges to throw down. I call it Creeper Coon.
posted by orange swan at 1:33 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I read about this this morning, and thought it was a brilliant way to call attention to Animal Control not doing their job. Raccoons are wicked clever, and the few times I've ever seen them as roadkill, they've to a one turned out to be rabid. (I live in a small town. Rabid roadkill passes for news round these parts.) IMO, Animal Control are the ones in the wrong here, for leaving a potentially rabid dead animal on the sidewalk for so long.
posted by Ruki at 2:49 PM on July 10, 2015

A raccoon died on the streets of Toronto.
It's really too bad that this will never be the opening of a Warren Zevon song as it was so obviously destined to be.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:15 PM on July 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

What does Rob Ford think?
posted by clavdivs at 4:39 PM on July 10, 2015

Clearly just a clever (if a bit unusual) marketing campaign for the return of The Raccoons.
posted by Poldo at 6:06 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yep, dead animals sure are good for chuckles.

You all should have been with me when somebody speeding past my house (in the direction of Toronto, coincidentally) smashed into a fawn and didn't even stop. I got to pick up the intestines and the heart with a shovel. Ha ha ha. Gosh, I'm still laughing.

Fuck you, humans.
posted by crazylegs at 6:37 PM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Germany somehow has a raccoon population. German animals must of course have logical names so they are Washbears (Waschbär), since they look a bit like bears and wash their food.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:58 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

They climb the walls surrounding our condo's outdoor pool at night so they can wash things.

You should put out a bowl of sugar cubes for them as a treat.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:00 AM on July 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Awesome raccoon anecdotes... which makes me wonder... is it possible to domesticate raccoons? And I don't mean just raising one from a kit. I mean actual, proper domestication. With breeding and selection done over generations and all that. Can it be done?

(I googled it and I just came up with a slew of sites written by people who have confused "taming" with "domestication." So yeah.)
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 1:18 AM on July 12, 2015

Those Russian researchers pulled it off with foxes, selecting for neoteny and friendliness.

(I'm personally thankful that my cats don't have thumbs.)
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:54 AM on July 12, 2015

For those who found this distasteful, it wasn't the raccoon who was being mocked -- it was Animal Services for not responding despite having been notified. I think it's kinda touching. And Conrad is an awesome name.

I wouldn't expect people who pick up dead raccoons for a living to be PR experts but unceremoniously tossing him in a garbage bag was a bit of a tonedeaf move.
posted by raider at 7:51 AM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

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