A month after a rat captivated New Yorkers by hauling a slice of pizza down a subway staircase, a raccoon was spotted devouring an entire slice of Sicilian pizza in Central Park.
Anya Schiffrin was taking a stroll with a friend near the Conservatory Garden just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The two were hoping to check out some chrysanthemums but instead ran into a huge and hungry raccoon fishing a slice of plain pizza from a trashcan.
"It was like a rolling barrel," Schiffrin said. "In this extraordinary, fast motion he just got the pizza and immediately perched himself at the bottom of a tree."
Schiffrin, an institute director at Columbia University who was raised in the city, said that she has only seen a couple of raccoons in her entire life and has never seen one in Central Park.
But on Tuesday she was face to face with a huge, "solid" raccoon with only pizza on its mind.
"He immediately started on it," Schiffrin said. "And we immediately thought of the pizza rat."
As the two friends stopped to stare at the raccoon, it made eye contact with them. It may have thought they were interested in stealing his slice, Schiffrin said.
"He wanted more privacy, so he scurried in one fell swoop up the tree and continued eating," she said. "From the trash can, to the base of the tree, to the top of the tree, he never dropped the pizza once."
While the raccoon sat and ate its pizza, Schiffrin was able to snap several photos of the voracious creature.
Schiffrin said the raccoon was like a cuter version of the pizza rat, whose story led to a #PizzaRat hashtag on social media. A video of the rat garnered more than 8 million views on YouTube.
Now maybe it's #PizzaRaccoon's turn.