Toronto man who rescued raccoon while riding segway inspires fan art
It's been a big week for raccoon news in Toronto — which is saying a lot, considering how collectively obsessed we seem to be as a city with the chonky masked charmers.
On Monday, we heard tell of the little guy who waltzed into a Tim Hortons and got right down to work. Yesterday, footage was released of a woman scooping a young raccoon into her coat and away from a busy intersection.
Nothing, however, has resonated quite like the story of a man riding a segway while carrying a raccoon by the scruff of its neck, transporting the animal to safety like superman on a self-balancing scooter.
The unidentified man has captured the hearts of raccoon-lovers everywhere — all 2.9 million of us — since Wednesday, when witness Colin Whyte uploaded a video of the harrowing rescue.
He's been hailed as a hero, a badass and, perhaps most importantly, a source of light during an otherwise dark period of time.
One local artist was so touched by segway raccoon man that she paid tribute to his actions in the form of a beautiful illustration.
I’ve been thinking about Segway Raccoon Man all day... pic.twitter.com/7TnmELLDCs— Jenna Christensen (@JenBarb_) October 28, 2020
"I was fascinated by the original raccoon rescue video," says the artist, a 27-year-old downtown Toronto resident named Jenna (@jenbarb_ on Instagram).
"It was such an unusual scenario, but simultaneously very 'Toronto'. I felt the moment deserved to be captured in an illustration," she continued — and many people who've viewed the work strongly agree.
"Thank you! This is a highlight in my Covid journals," commented someone on a copy of the work posted to Reddit, where it's already received more than 2,000 upvotes.
Feel good story - Man on segway rescuing raccoon from traffic is the hero Toronto needs https://t.co/DCOfJDN87U— Christine Korda (@Christinekorda) October 28, 2020
People are now petitioning Jenna to make prints of the illustration, presumably to hang on their walls as a reminder that heroes do exist.
The artist says that it was the unidentified man's bravery, in fact, that inspired her work.
"I love seeing raccoons around, but I prefer to admire them from afar," she told blogTO. "I think that's part of why I was so inspired by the rescuer's comfort interacting directly with one of them!"
Same — but it's important to note that you shouldn't try to emulate the man's actions on your own. Not only could relocating a raccoon cause serious stress and harm to the animal, it could also be sick with rabies or distemper. Call a non-segway riding wildlife expert instead for proper advice.
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