Newsmaker: Trending raccoon, 700 feet up

Jaime Weinman on the latest sign that Toronto is under attack

Canada loves raccoons, from that ’80s cartoon series The Raccoons to … well, that’s about it.

Anyway, a new critter has taken their place in the national raccoon firmament. On Thursday, April 16, a raccoon managed to climb up a 700-foot tall crane outside a downtown Toronto condo building, surprising the operator with his presence. A battle of wills ensued, with the operator, Robert MacFarlane, later recalling that his nemesis was “totally fearless.” Finally MacFarlane managed to make himself unpleasant enough to his guest that the furry daredevil turned around and ran down to the ground again.

After MacFarlane posted pictures of the invasion on Twitter, people immediately wondered: who was this masked hero? At least we know what his heroic purpose was: “This critter climbed over 700 feet to crap on my machine deck,” MacFarlane wrote. He also reassured his readers the animal wasn’t hurt by his descent back to the earth.

MacFarlane said he’s found the organic calling-cards or raccoons elsewhere, and “a guy that works on the 57th floor told me he saw one on the crane last week.” In other words, the raccoon isn’t a lone hero, he’s part of an army of powerful raccoons who, apparently, can go anywhere and fear nothing.

This is just the latest sign that Toronto raccoons are unbeatably powerful.

Earlier this year, the city unveiled a new line of green garbage bins designed to keep out raccoons, who have proved able to get into all our previous trash receptacles. The new bins have what the designer called a “raccoon-resistant latch,” and their creator, Derick Foster, told Metro they were made because Toronto is under attack by “some of the largest and smartest raccoons in North America.”

And just as we try to overcome raccoons unstoppable garbage powers, we find they’ve developed new super abilities: climbing to enormous heights, total lack of fear about where they do their business.

Toronto’s only hope may be that some movie studio sees the report about these creatures and signs them all up for the latest superhero movie. After all, they wear masks.

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