Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Toronto Raccoon in the TTC's Court

Yesterday, a raccoon was spotted riding the TTC subway at Spadina station. That's adorable to begin with, but I especially like Carl Fernandez's tweet, linked in that story, that "Raccoon gets free metro pass!" Some might say raccoons should pay like the rest of us; others may adopt a social justice model saying that raccoons should receive free Metropasses due to their uniformly low income. (As opposed to residents of Raccoon Island, Ohio, who enjoy average household incomes a little above the US national average.) A likely better comparison is the lack of charge for dogs and cats accompanying their owners.

Raccoon rights are not as much of a laugher as you might think. Last year, a Quebec couple fought to keep a raccoon as a pet despite pleas from local wildlife authorities to surrender the animal. A summer 2014 poll suggested that most Torontonians want at least some raccoons euthanized, whereas more recent statements from mayor John Tory have ruled out the cull. In that same article, Tory discusses the use of birth control pills for raccoons. Human women, of course, have only had the pill available to them since 1960. According to that article, in referencing Ancient Egyptian birth control methods, "it turns out fermented acacia really does have a spermicidal effect." Maybe raccoons are best suited to an herbal method?

No matter what your stance is on raccoons riding the subway for free, you have to admit it's putting a smile on the face of the woman in the green Canada Goose jacket. Its purse inspection skills may rival those of the police.

(picture from CTV News)

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