Canadian skunk gets head stuck in Tim Hortons cup; rescued by kindly cameraman

Pity the beast didn’t go for a regular coffee and a dutchie.  According to CBC news, which has a great video on its site (I can’t embed it), a coffee-loving skunk got his head caught in a plastic cup of iced cappuccino from Tim Horton’s in Toronto.  The story:

A Toronto skunk was found wandering in traffic with a Tim Hortons Iced Capp cup early Tuesday.

Tony Smyth, CBC Toronto’s overnight videographer, was on Don Mills Road at Highway 401 when he spotted the skunk wandering in and out of traffic with the empty ‘Iced Capp’ container on its head.

“He was trying to get it off with his little paws and bumping off the curbs,” Smyth said. “Obviously, he couldn’t see a thing.”

A City TV cameraman, Bert Dandy, walked up to the skunk and pulled the cup off. The animal ran into the bush.

“You see the strangest things on night shift,” Smyth said.

And a screencap (GO SEE THE RESCUE VIDEO):

Picture 1

I love it when people go out of their way to help distressed animals, and in this case Dandy was risking a good squirting!

I used to love Tim Horton’s, and would make my Canadian friends take me there when I visited up north, but it’s gone downhill, merging with Wendy’s and now cooking frozen donuts sent from a central facility (they used to be made fresh in each store).

Checking it out, I was surprised to find on Wikipedia that there are some Hortons branches outside Canada:

Tim Hortons’ international presence includes outlets in the United States (including one opened in Detroit and owned by former NBA player Derrick Coleman) and one that was on a military base outside Kandahar, Afghanistan. Two more outlets are located in military bases at Fort Knox, Kentucky,and Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Tim Hortons’ other international expansions include a small outlet at the Dublin Zoo. Tim Hortons also made a deal with the Spar convenience store chain in the UK and Ireland, resulting in Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts being sold at small self-service counters in 50 Spar stores as of 30 April 2007.

h/t: Diana


  1. Dominic
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Last Friday I had a day off in Cambridge & we saw a cygnet with fishing line & a float wrapped around its beak. I could not reach it so we asked a person hiring punts to help & he said he would get the water bailiff to call the RSPB – I hope he did but now I worry that I should have called them myself.

    • Matt G
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Last week I rescued a dragonfly from a spider web, and set up an elaborate barricade to keep a neighborhood cat away from the four robin chicks nesting on the hibachi on my back porch!

      • Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        What’s the poor spider gonna eat, with you stealing all her food?

        • Matt G
          Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          Trust me, she ignores most of the other entangled insects. I have seen other dragonflies sit in webs for days untouched. If you aren’t going to eat the food you’re served WHEN you’re served, don’t come crying to me later about being hungry.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted August 2, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            Sorry, but for many spiders, that’s not the modus operandi. It is common for web-building spiders to capture prey in the web, inject it with a paralytic venom, then leave it “on the shelf” until they need it. These species (genera?) specifically don’t kill their prey in order to hijack their immune systems to keep their dinner fresh. If you care to apply a morality analysis to such behaviour, then I’d posit that it’s comparable to squirrels (“squeee!”) stashing nuts for the winter.
            Wasn’t it the Ichneumonidae (parasitic wasps ; spelling?) which excited Darwin’s “Devil’s Chaplain” comment? There’s some table manners for you!

      • Robin Brown
        Posted August 2, 2013 at 3:19 am | Permalink

        Bit different from my daughter’s reaction when about 4. She used to catch craneflies and feed them to the spider with the big web in the garden.

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Jerry – you might like Tim’s again as I believe they sold their shares back! 🙂

    • Graham Martin-Royle
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      As long as they still sell donut holes I’ll still visit their stores whenever I visit Canada.

  3. Matt G
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Yay, human! I don’t mind the (faint) smell of skunk, though I might not feel that way if the liquid ware actually on me.

    There are a bunch of Tim Horton’s on the New York State Thruway at the Canadian end. Once you pass Rochester you’re out of luck, I think. We people from Upstate take care of our Canadian friends and their addictions.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      If the skunk squirted you it would not be faint! Pew skunk squirt is terrible! I still would’ve tried a quick pat then pulled off the cup & bolted.:)

    • jesperbothpedersen1
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      During my short stint as a zookeeper, I had the unpleasant fortune of being sprayed by one.

      It’s an aquired taste and I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint at heart. 🙂

      • Hempenstein
        Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Went to a TH’s somewhere between Lansing and the state line S of Detroit en route back to Pittsburgh this past winter.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Oh, that one was intended as a straight post, but I did think of commenting (& so now I will) that the odorant is just butanethiol, so think of it as an antioxidant!

        • Matt G
          Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          Oh, so it’s good for you! Maybe I’ll go piss off a skunk this afternoon.

        • jesperbothpedersen1
          Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          Hehe. It took some getting used to, but eventually the small feud between me and the skunk died out and it accepted me. Probably because I always had some extra food in my pockets when I had to clean the skunk enclosure.

          Animals are funny that way…..even cats.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 2, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink

          Butanethiol. That’s an impressive combination. I’ve never smelt a skunk (and probably never will) but I can now imagine what it must smell like.

  4. mikeb
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Points to anyone who can tell who Tim Horton was. I’m from Buffalo so I know. Here in Western NY, there is one Tim’s per square mile.

    • michaeljefisher
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Wikipedia Tim Hortons Inc. is a Canadian fast casual restaurant known for its coffee and doughnuts. It is also Canada’s largest fast food service with over 3,000 stores nationwide. It was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton and Jim Charade, after an initial venture in hamburger restaurants.

  5. microraptor
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I’m reminded of an old Pat McManus line about skunks.

    After narrowly avoiding hitting a skunk while driving:
    “‘My goodness,’ said my wife, Bun, ‘what would you have done if you’d hit that skunk with the car?’
    ‘The only thing to do,’ I said. ‘I’d have stopped and buried it in the ditch. I might have buried the skunk while I was at it.'”

  6. moarscienceplz
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I’ve never quite gotten into the whole donut thing. To me, they are nearly always greasy, sticky, over-sweet globs. However, my mom, who was definitely not the world’s greatest cook, could fry up a batch of homemade donuts that were heavenly. Mmmm!

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      greasy, sticky, over-sweet globs

      You say that like it’s a bad thing.

      • moarscienceplz
        Posted August 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        I hereby bequeath all my future globs to you, Reginald.

  7. darrelle
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Once when I was a boy I had a friendly encounter with a skunk in my back yard. A large back yard bordered by forest. I must have spent a 1/2 hour gently moving closer to that skunk while sweet talking it. Eventually it must have decided I was okay because it walked right up to me and reared up on its hind legs while patting me down with its forepaws. Just about then my mother stepped out of the house onto the back porch, saw what was going on, and nearly peed her pants with anxiety. The skunk didn’t like that and I thought for sure I was going to get hosed. But, nope, though clearly agitated he just scurried off into the woods.

    My mother promptly called animal control and they caught the poor skunk later that day. They swore to me that the skunk would come to no harm, but I wasn’t sure whether to trust them or not. I was a little peeved with Mom for a while after that.

  8. Curt Cameron
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    When I read the headline I thought to myself, “Poor skunk – but I wonder who this Tim Horton person is that it was notable that it was his cup the skunk’s head got stuck in?”

    Never heard of Tim Horton’s.

  9. M Janello
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    My dog once got sprayed by a skunk right in the mouth. I saw her surprise it in the bushes and saw it spray (and safely run away), but to my surprise the dog didn’t smell at all.

    Until she opened her mouth. Poor dog walked around for days smacking her lips in a very dissatisfied way. And her poop smelled horrible. :-0

    But she got to avoid the post-skunk dog ritual of 2 hours in the tub being washed with tomato juice. (Yes it does seem to work but your white dog turns orange. The spray is very oily and sticky so most likely the mild acid of the juice is what does it. I’ve heard pineapple juice works too.)

    Skunks are pretty interesting. They look right at you and lift their butts over their head to take aim. If they ever do that, freeze and back away slowly.

    Wikipedia has a delightful extract from Darwin’s “Voyage of the Beagle”:

    “We saw also a couple of Zorrillos, or skunks—odious animals, which are far from uncommon. In general appearance, the Zorrillo resembles a polecat, but it is rather larger and much thicker in proportion. Conscious of its power, it roams by day about the open plain, and fears neither dog nor man. If a dog is urged to the attack, its courage is instantly checked by a few drops of the fetid oil, which brings on violent sickness and running at the nose. Whatever is once polluted by it, is for ever useless. Azara says the smell can be perceived at a league distant; more than once, when entering the harbour of Monte Video, the wind being off shore, we have perceived the odour on board the Beagle. Certain it is, that every animal most willingly makes room for the Zorrillo.”

    “Conscious of its power” indeed! I was with a friend in a park in NYC (the one that houses the Cloisters) and saw several skunks, all of whom obviously expected us to be afraid of them rather than the reverse. (Which we very wisely were!)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      My dog got it right in the eye and as I was rinsing her eye with saline outside, the skunk was busily wandering around the garden looking at stuff. He had made his point. No need to show off. 🙂

      What works well is hydrogen peroxide – you can mix it with baking soda & liquid soap as well. This is better than tomato juice. You make it up and put it on a sponge to wash down your sprayed pet. Of course, I couldn’t clean my dogs eye so she stunk in the eye pretty bad for a while. Talk about stink eye! 😀

      Here is a recipe.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 2, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      the post-skunk dog ritual of 2 hours in the tub being washed with tomato juice. (Yes it does seem to work but your white dog turns orange. The spray is very oily and sticky so most likely the mild acid of the juice is what does it. I’ve heard pineapple juice works too.

      Hmmm, oily spray? wouldn’t that suggest a washdown with something moderately oily and/ or emulsifying, like yoghurt? That’s the same logic as is suggested for washing away the taste of very hot chilli peppers, also reputedly oily.
      Not that I expect to either own a d*g, or meet a skunk. And I learned about chillis a long, long time ago.

  10. Dave
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    “I love it when people go out of their way to help distressed animals” And I hate it when idiots can’t make sure their garbage is disposed of properly!

    • jesperbothpedersen1
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Maybe it stuck its head into a trashcan?

  11. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    This is the the Kandahar Tim Horton’s. It’s interesting how the employees can tell the nationality of the person ordering based on what they get.

  12. Posted August 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Come to Columbus Ohio, there are Tim Hortons everywhere!

  13. AdamK
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the Dayton, OH area. There are Tim Horton’s all over the place. I went to one once, saw to reason to go back.

  14. pulseteresa
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m also in the Dayton area. They’re pretty ubiquitous in southwest Ohio (Columbus, Springfield, Dayton, Cincinnati). I assumed they were nationwide in the US.

  15. David
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Marvelous allegory for debunking faitheists.

  16. marksolock
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

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