The story of a dead raccoon on a Toronto sidewalk — and the #DeadRaccoonTO hashtag that emerged on Twitter after the city government’s delayed response — all started when Jason Wagar did his civic duty.
According to the CBC, the responsible citizen came across the raccoon carcass on Thursday around 9 a.m. ET and quickly reported it to the city via Twitter.
Wagar soon received a response that animal services had been notified. But hours passed and no one came to dispose of the dead animal. Then the story of the lifeless raccoon began to play out on social media.
According to Buzzfeed, around noon someone left a note next to the remains.
Then a flower was placed next to the deceased animal, the beginnings of a memorial of sorts.
Wagar returned around 3 p.m. and by then the makeshift memorial included a second note and a photo.
Soon Wagar’s effort to engage the city on Twitter gained even more attention when it caught the eye of City of Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly and his 11,000 followers.
Soon #DeadRaccoonTO emerged and was even inscribed on one of the cards left near the body.
According to the CBC, someone on social media even named the dead raccoon, dubbing him Conrad.
Eventually, the sun went down but the lifeless raccoon remained — necessitating the inclusion of votive candles in the growing makeshift memorial.
Around 11 p.m., a worker from Toronto Animal Services (finally) arrived on the scene. By that time, the #DeadRacoonTO phenomenon was also being captured and tweeted by a freelance journalist.