It took Toronto Animal Services 14 hours to remove a dead raccoon's body from a busy Toronto street. That inspired the #DeadRaccoonTO viral sensation, which errupted after citizens erected a memorial to the dead animal.
Animal Services was alerted to the dead animal as early as 9:05 a.m. when a pedestrian tweeted the city's contact centre.
As the hours passed, people created a memorial to the raccoon, not to mention the #DeadRaccoonTO hashtag. It went viral.
Venedam said she has seen other memorials to dead animals, but that "this is the first time I’ve seen one in probably 10 years. I have seen them before but they are not that frequent."
And is it the first viral vigil?
"That is a fair statement, definitely," she said.
The city worker who finally came and picked up the raccoon unceremoniously placed it in a garbage bag, telling onlookers, “Seriously guys, it’s a dead raccoon.”
Venedem told BuzzFeed Canada the raccoon was taken to the Animal Services crematorium located on the city's west side. Asked if the internet-famous raccoon was given any special consideration, she said, "Um, no. I’m not going to lie."
Animal Services pick up 40 to 60 dead animals on a daily basis throughout the city, according to Venedam. "That’s call cadavers, whether it be raccoons, skunks, squirrels, possums."
Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.
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