Rob Ford Vs. Raccoons: His Deadly Serious Battle With Toronto's Critters
"I'm not a big raccoon fan, I'll tell you that straight up." He may not be well-known for his mayoral duties, but perhaps Rob Ford is turning over a new leaf. The mayor that most people can't talk about without mentioning crack is on a serious mission to tackle one of the city's most severe problems. That's right, Rob Ford is waging war against raccoons. Apparently, the urban critters have become a major nuisance for citizens, invading people's garbage cans at night and terrorizing grown men, including Toronto's own mayor.
In response to the recent multiplication of raccoons in Toronto, Ford and constituents have met to brainstorm solutions to the problem before a full-blown pandemic ravages Toronto and its garbage bins. Judging by the way Ford talks about the issue and the graveness of his tone, you'd think that he was talking about a rise in violence, or organized crime, or narcotics — basically anything but raccoons.
The hilarity of the situation was palpable when the mayor recently held a mini-press conference on the subject. Reporters can be seen literally snickering behind him as he talks about the evolution of raccoons as if they were some mutant strain of a fatal disease. Don't laugh, he warns throughout the questioning.
Ford has had several very personal encounters with the animals, and it was not pretty. Listen to his harrowing story.
A City Gripped With Fear
When a reporter asks, "Do you think the city has a raccoon problem?" Ford responds without missing a beat: "Oh yeah. Oh yeah." The way Ford sees it, the people of Toronto are basically living in terror. "It's a serious problem; it affects a lot of people. They just don't scare when you open your garbage at night."
And it's happening in his own backyard, literally.
"I've seen it with the neighbors. Sometimes you open your blue bin or black bin and they jump out. Honestly, it scares you when it's pitch black. Sometimes they won't even leave the garbage can. They'll just sit there and look at you."
Up Close and Personal
"I've had some standoffs with some raccoons," Ford says with a noticeable shudder as he remembers.
"Can you tell me about the last standoff you had with a raccoon?" a reporter asks. With dead seriousness, Ford replies, "No, we've had a few."
Ford bravely carries on. "We have our bins in front of our house. So at night I'd go out, I'd recycle. I'd open it up and — bang! These things jump out."
Someone in the room callously starts laughing.
"It's funny now, but you come back to my place . . ."
One can only imagine the horrific scene at the Ford residence. All that strewn garbage.
Raccoons were once just furry little creatures that would scurry away as soon as you came out yelling. They wouldn't even turn back. Nowadays, they're indication that the apocalypse might be nigh.
"They're not scared of you anymore," Ford explained. "They just look at you. They used to be. You know, you could yell or scream out, but now they just look at you. Right up to your front door."
He knows he has to curb the infestation before the entire city is enslaved at the paws of these vile grayish-brown animals.
"It's a serious problem we have in the city, and it's only getting worse and worse. They're getting braver and braver by the day."
A Family Broken
Ford describes how the situation has rocked his family, who are living in fear like the rest of the city.
"I've got a 9- and 6-year-old. They won't go and take the garbage out. They say, 'No, Dad, you're taking the garbage out.' My wife won't even go outside ... so we have to make deals, who's going to put out the garbage at night, because they're just gonna sit there."
What kind of life is that? Making deals? That's no way to live.
Ford and his fellow council members rack their brains for a solution.
"Some people say we should have the right to euthanize them. I said, well, that's not my call, but I have met with people about that."
When asked if he supports euthanizing the raccoons, Ford says: "I'd have to look at ... some way of controlling the raccoons. I've seen some sick raccoons, like really, really aggressive. If they're going after kids and stuff, absolutely. If they're attacking anybody, not just kids, then yes, we have to have a way of controlling them. Just going out and generally euthanizing them? No. I might have a problem with that, obviously. [Chuckles.]"
He says he has a problem with it, but it's probably what he secretly wants to do . . . Who can blame him? We're talking a small furry mammal about the size of a house cat rummaging through your old Chinese takeout. These things have to go.
For now, Ford offers an interim solution that every Toronto resident should adopt.
"So yeah, we definitely have a raccoon problem in the city. I don't have a solution, but I try to bang on the bin before opening it. You're laughing, but it's not funny, buddy."
Watch the entire video below.