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The Buzz

Adorable trash panda invades Toronto airport to delight of travelers

It was one of the cutest airport security breaches you'll ever see, courtesy of a raccoon hanging out in Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Friday.

Travelers were greeted — much to their delight — by the furry little rascal peering out from an open hole in the ceiling directly over baggage claim.

"You almost expected him to come down wearing a little uniform and ask to help with the baggage," Cameron Graham told CBC News.

The raccoon remained on the prowl through the weekend and drew an increasing amount of attention. 

"It's hard to imagine a better welcome to the city," Jonathan Goldsbie tweeted.

But that didn't mean airport officials were going to let the critter permanently move in and serve the role of unofficial greeter. A wildlife team was brought in to relocate it.

"Despite his intentions of traveling abroad, our friend the raccoon has decided Toronto has all the culture he needs," the airport tweeted. "The raccoon is currently being taken back home to his natural habitat.

"He just wanted to thank you all for the celebrity treatment."

While running across a wild critter in an airport may be unusual, encounters with wildlife in the spring is fairly common. Warmer temperatures, longer days, and a number of other factors such as breeding and migrating patterns, mean animals are incredibly active.

So what should you do if you come across wildlife in your personal space? The University of Illinois Extension has a great resource on Living with Wildlife in Illinois, outlining many do's and don'ts, plus tips on how to prevent animals from becoming a nuisance around your home.


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