This year, Toronto has done it again. Here is a recap of some of the top animal stories that began trending in Toronto:
Remember when the city mourned a dead raccoon?
In case you didn’t already know, Toronto is probably the raccoon capital of the world, which makes it no surprise that it’s also the home city and final resting place of Conrad, the critter at the heart of #DeadRaccoonTO. In July, Torontonians found his carcass downtown and soon tributes flooded in – and not just on social media. A makeshift memorial of flowers, cards and candles soon formed around Conrad as the citizens waited for Animal Services to collect the body. Rest in peace, #DeadRaccoonTO.
High Park peacock on the lam
This Toronto peacock spent five days running through The Six evading authorities. Roncesvalles neighbours witnessed him hopping rooftops, galloping down streets and narrowly missing capture by animal services. Why was he running? He may have been looking for love, or maybe he wanted a taste of freedom or perhaps he just wanted to watch Drake’s concert (that was Norm Kelly’s guess).
Baboon battle erupts for the throne
It was like the real-life version of ‘Planet of the Apes.’ Since the matriarch olive baboon died last year, the females have been fighting for the throne. Zoo officials were forced to close the exhibit for several days due to the injuries which included deep lacerations, hair ripped out and tail injuries.
Reporting for duty, Officer Groundhog!
He’s probably the cutest police recruit of the year. Toronto police showed off their new member during the Pan Am Games. Officers said training began immediately after he befriended offices at the Exhibition Place in July.
Move over Sonic, meet rising star Henley the Hedgehog
Local hedgehog Henley stars in a children’s book series and has his own lovable jingle that you’ll never forget. Watch the video above to hear the song and learn about how elementary teacher Sharon Douris came up with Henley’s magical tree house in Kew Gardens.
Panda cubs born at the Toronto Zoo
Er Shun gave birth to two panda cubs, a first in Canadian history, in October. Due to the difficulties around breeding pandas, the mom, a giant panda on loan from China, was artificially inseminated in May. Reports from October say the cubs were healthy and starting to develop black markings, fur and pseudo thumb pads. Awww!
Purrrfect café finally opens its doors
The long-awaited cat café opened its doors to the public in November. All the cats at the café are available for adoption through the Toronto Humane Society.
More raccoon news, because Toronto seemingly has an obsession with the masked bandits
The high flier
Who do you think was more surprised: The crane operator who found the raccoon that climbed 213 metres up a crane or the furry rascal who figured out he couldn’t fly?
The green-bin bandits
Toronto released security video of raccoons attempting to tamper with newly designed green bins. The video shows just how tricky these midnight bandits are. Cute from afar, we say.
The typical city slickers
Crowds of film fanatics and tourists line the streets of Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival and the raccoons could not care less. Unless you’re in their way.