toronto raccoon

A raccoon prepared for lockdown this week by visiting a Toronto Best Buy

Despite the fact that officials entreated residents not to panic buy in the days leading up to the onset of Toronto and Peel Region's extreme lockdown, people still herded to malls over the weekend and hit up non-essential retailers that were being forced to halt in-person shopping.

Among the throngs was, in typical T.O. fashion, a rogue raccoon that decided to scope out some gadgets and gizmos at Best Buy, ostensibly to keep himself occupied during isolation.

The critter, who appeared quite soaked due to Sunday's snow, was quickly spotted by employees at Best Buy Leaside on Laird Drive as it browsed the aisles.

The team attempted to herd the masked intruder out using a chair they had on-hand, telling it "let's go, come on, this way." The little dude was apparently not at all fluent in English, based on the terrified look on its face.

"He just wandered in the front door while no one was paying attention and made his way to the back of the store," said Jamie Muir, who was quick enough to capture some video footage of the raccoon's antics.

"We tried coralling him to the front door but he aboslutely didn't want to leave because clearly it was awful outside and it was nice and warm inside."

As is generally the advice of wildlife experts, a team leader eventually managed to get a box on top of the animal and transport it outside until someone from the city could come tend to the situation.

Because authorities stated they wouldn't able to arrive on the scene for a few hours, staffers actually took turns checking on the boxed bandit while shoppers bustled in and out of the retailer.

Finally, they decided to instead relocate the animal somewhere out of harm's way, freeing it behind the storefront, where it "wandered off unscathed and relatively unbothered," Muir said — though it did return some time later to try and get in the shop once more "before giving up and slumping off into Leaside."

The encounter is the latest in a spate of raccoon run-ins across the city, from that cutie who got stuck on a bridge in City Place for days to the one who decided to get a job at Tim Hortons to the ones saved from wandering into oncoming traffic by local heroes (one of them on a segway).

Though the trash pandas are the hilarious and adorable mascots of the city, there has been some Canine Distemper Virus going around, which can make them act very out of sorts and almost always, sadly, leads to their untimely death.

Thankfully, this Best Buy shopper seemed more genuinely lost than actually sick, so hopefully it's alive and stirring up some trouble elsewhere.

Lead photo by

Jamie Muir via Weird Toronto

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