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 Media Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.
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