The streets of London are positively teeming with questionable life forms, and that’s before we even consider animals. After the Essex lion came out to play this weekend, we venture to the darkest depths of our urban jungle to bring you the top five wild animal spottings in London.
The Crystal Palace Puma
The notorious Crystal Palace Puma has been spotted on several occasions stalking the undergrowth of South East London. In 2009 it had martial arts expert Roger Fleming flee for his life when it chased him on a path leading through woodlands from College Road to Sydenham Hill. The ‘Sydenham Beast’ first reared its head in 2005, when police armed with tasers responded to a call in which a man was attacked by large a black cat.
Unidentified Aquatic Entity – Olympic Park
Evidence has arisen of a mysterious marine beast lurking in the River Lea, near the Olympic Park. A 16lb goose was seen dragged under the waters and experts say the swan population has significantly decreased. Speculations suggest the creature could be a large pike, though the fish have never taken prey so large. Another possibility is an abandoned pet terrapin or python, though neither animal could survive the wintry conditions within the Lea, where large holes were found burrowed into the banks. Our bets are on external saboteurs, sending beasts to bring down the Olympics from within those murky depths.
Tooting Common Lemur
Something extraordinary was found on the Common in December of 2011. The ring-tailed primate was admitted to hospital with severe hypothermia when discovered on a chilly evening in south west London. Mark Bossley, Blue Cross chief vet at Victoria Animal Hospital said he had never had such an exotic animal in his care, and that there was no way of telling where the Lemur came from. Perhaps they’re filming ‘Madagascar 4’ in our fair city.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles terrorise Camden Ponds
Large number of dangerous snapping terrapins have experts worried about the safety of Camden residents. Ten species, several hybrids and rare African turtles were found in a Camden park. Tom Langton of the London Natural History Society said: ‘We found a big increase in the sightings of terrapins, a type of turtle popular in the ’80s due to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon series.’ In the early 1900s terrapins were considered a delicacy; perhaps we could assist the Camden cull by opening an exclusive pop-up restaurant.
Windsor Castle infested by underground nest of venomous spiders
Nests of rare spiders of a breed previously believed to be extinct for thousands of years have been found living underneath the royal estate. Although the spiders are considered ‘likely to attack’ experts have described the find as ‘very exciting’. Conservationists say numbers are as yet undefined as the critters nest underground but there could be thousands of the things. Problem is, if they turn out to be an endangered species, it would be illegal to kill them. Lydia Shellien-Walker
Seen any wild animals around town? Email email@example.com.