Loblaws shoppers might be used to feeling a shock or two when browsing the aisles, with several sky-high prices for various items going viral so far this year, but someone's recent discovery at the chain's location in Toronto was worth a closer look.
A raccoon was spotted inside a Toronto Loblaws location, browsing its way around some checkout counters, and one shopper caught the moment on camera.
Alex Chow was doing his grocery shopping at the Loblaws at Dupont and Christie Streets at around 8:00 p.m., Thursday when some commotion pulled his attention away from the back of the store.
"Suddenly, I hear people talking, a mixture of shoppers and employees... next thing I notice a raccoon loitering about!" Chow told Narcity. "A small group of people start breaking out their camera phones and slowly follow the raccoon as it strolls towards the front of the supermarket."
In the video, the raccoon can be seen scampering close by one shopper using a self-checkout machine before the animal makes its way down the aisle of checkout counters, with another shopper stepping out of the way to avoid contact with it.
"Doesn't get anymore Toronto than this," Chow said in his video posted to Twitter.
\u201c4/20/2023\n\nDoesn't get any more #Toronto than spotting our unofficial mascot, the #raccoon, casually strolling along inside the local @LoblawsON #supermarket! \ud83e\udd9d\n\n#Loblaws #Wildlife #The6ix #ViewsFromThe6ix #Raccoons #Shopping #TorontoLife #TorontoLiving\u201d— Alex Chow (He/Him) (@Alex Chow (He/Him)) 1682037364
While he spotted the raccoon checking out each checkout counter, Chow told Narcity he could hear workers at the Loblaws discussing what exactly they were going to do.
"All I can tell you about the store workers was ongoing discussions about how to deal with the critter!" Chow said. "Sadly, I can neither confirm nor deny if the raccoon was given a hero's exit or not ... I can only speculate!"
Important investigative work revealed that only a short time later, the animal was removed from the location.
"We can confirm that a raccoon wandered into our DuPont location," a Lobalws spokesperson told Narcity. "After a short time, (it) was safely ushered out with the help of staff and customers."
Another sighting of Toronto's unofficial mascot comes just months after concerns of a raccoon distemper outbreak, which would, understandably, make people even more cautious about getting close to these wild animals.
In any case, while the City of Toronto says "It’s very normal to encounter wild animals," people are advised to call 3-1-1 in scenarios like this one.
It's also worth noting that as of April 1, 2023, new regulations made it illegal to feed wildlife in the city.