Photos by Jeffrey Freeman.
Ordinarily we take a dim view of sensationalism and fear-mongering here at Torontoist, but we hope, in this case, you’ll forgive us for asking: WHAT THE HELL is that naked beast and how can I protect my [-self, child, community] from it? We haven’t felt so scared of (and strangely drawn to) a piece of wildlife photography since last year, when the Montauk Monster washed up on that Long Island shore, and into our hearts.
The creature you see doesn’t exist at quite such a comfortable remove. It’s a Torontonian, photographed in a Parkdale backyard by Jeffrey Freeman, and sent to and posted by OMGBlog shortly afterward. We call it “Furry.”
My boyfriend Mathew first spotted “her” several weeks back, noting how strange and unusual its appearance was. I told him based on his initial description it must be an opossum. Mat was steadfast in his belief that this was no an opossum but a freakish alopecia marsupial or something. The beast has since come to the back yard at night on numerous occasions… She was very cooperative for the photo spread and even came up closer to my deck for us to get a good look. The creature has been back again several times and is fast becoming a fixture.
Is this an escapee from George Romero’s private menagerie? A physical manifestation of our own darkest nightmares? A kitty?
Actually, a little YouTube research by our staff indicates that this nude terror could possibly be a raccoon. A bald raccoon. Jeffrey’s opposum hypothesis could also be correct. We’re told the latter are increasingly common in Toronto, though their customary habitat is further south. Opossums are not adapted to cope with Toronto winters, meaning that if this happens to be one, the hair loss and blackened extremities could be symptoms of frostbite—in which case we would actually feel kind of bad for teasing the poor thing.