The infamous pizza rat of 2015 is no longer the most "New York" rodent online.
Last week, subway riders spotted a raccoon on an uptown-bound 6 train. While mice and rats have been known to scurry across underground tracks, platforms and occasionally even the floors of subway cars, this raccoon was downright commuting. The animal had secured a coveted bench seat and was being fed from a small plastic dish by a woman who was apparently its keeper.
WildlifeNYC warns not to feed raccoons, and if this mammal did in fact belong to its feeder as a pet, the legality of the ownership is dubious at best. The city forbids keeping a raccoon without a license, and licenses are not available for pet purposes. Eyewitness and model Brooke Hogan filmed the raccoon via Snapchat, and the experience has gone viral.
The reaction from commuters varied from humor to horror. The Instagram account Subway Creatures, which reposted Hogan’s original video, documents all the strange happenings which seem to be near-daily occurrences on New York subways. While one Instagram commenter claimed “I would’ve jumped off the train," a more jaded one simply stated “I would just be mad that her bag is taking up another seat."
Another commenter shrugged it off as a byproduct of the heat, writing “lmao people become so strange in the summer."
In a city where stranger things have happened (and will presumably continue to happen), it’s impressive that there’s any subway rider bizarre enough to turn New Yorkers’ heads.