toronto raccoon

Someone in Toronto figured out super Canadian way to keep raccoon safe until rescue

Toronto residents have been having a whole lot of run-ins with raccoons lately, and are often at a loss about how to best help the little critters when they come too close to traffic, get stuck in dangerous places or otherwise get themselves into some sort of trouble.

When dealing with any raccoon or wild animal, especially one that may be sick or injured, animal rescues such as the Toronto Wildlife Centre recommend avoiding direct handling, and say to instead use something like a box to trap the creature from a safe distance until an expert can come get them.

It is definitely not advisable to try and pick up a raccon by hand and relocate it yourself — calling an organization like TWC or the City via 311 is the safest bet for all involved.

This is particularly important if citizens come across a raccoon that may have Canine Distemper, a virus that has the hallmark symptoms of slow, confused, aimless wandering during daylight hours.

Luckily for one raccoon, it's quite apparent that some people in the city's Leslieville neighbourhood knew all of the above information when they encountered the animal early on Wednesday morning.

Locals became concerned for the well-being of the trash panda, who had been sleepily meandering a residential street near Logan and Pape Avenues since the night before. So, they took it upon themselves to contain him or her until they could contact the necessary authorities for help.

It just so happened that their chosen method of containment turned out to be both cleverly effective and hilariously Canadian: a bunch of paper Home Depot leaf bags full from their latest raking efforts.

Resident Jacqueline Law was one of the people who helped fill up the bags and surround the raccoon with them so that it was protected from cars, local pets and passersby.

"We thought it was the safest thing to do," she told blogTO. "It was a prime time when kids were walking to school, so it was especially important that a kid did not approach them."

The spur-of-the-moment decision kept the little guy in one set location away from others until City personnel could arrive.

"It was very much a spur of the moment decision since we witnessed kids interested in checking out the raccoon, which would have been a potentially dangerous situation. Plus there were lots of dogs out too," Law added.

She ended up sharing a photo of the incident to a community Facebook page, where people gave their thanks for her quick thinking and wished the furry friend well.

Some understandably found some humour in the situation, commenting things like "WHO WILL ENTER THE RING TO CHALLENGE THE MASKED MARAUDER?" and "Very clever solution, do you think that it would also work with Donald Trump?"

Others proved that the leaf bag tactic is apparently a common one among Torontonians, with one user writing "thank you so much for keeping him safe! We made a barricade with garbage and recycling and waste bags over the weekend to prevent a small baby stuck in my bin from climbing out and getting hit by a car on Gerrard."

"It’s nice to see other people caring about these adorable trash pandas as much as my family does," they continued.

"Well done, humane and resourceful. This is a peak Toronto moment," another added.

Sadly, if the raccoon does indeed have distemper, it may end up euthanized by authorities due to the fact that the ailment has no cure and results in death anyways if not treated.

But still, keeping the animal and others safe and sound for the time being was a compassionate and characteristically Canadian thing for the group of Leslievillians to do, and it's clear that the gesture was appreciated. Hopefully, the critter was not in the late stages of the virus and is still able to be rehabilitated.

Lead photo by

Jacqueline Law


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