The lion, the wallabies and the scorpion: Some of the strangest animals to have roamed the streets (and motorways) of London

 
Sarah Spickernell
Follow Sarah
What were the Australian wallabies doing in London? No one knows (Source: Getty)
In the US, deer have been giving up woodland life for urban environments at an unprecedented rate. In fact, the number of deer moving to New York has increased by an estimated 3,304 per cent in the last six years.
Why are they going there? No one really knows, but they are turning up everywhere. John Caminiti of Staten Island, New York, saw one standing casually outside Staten Island Mall at the end of last year. “It got quiet all of a sudden,” he told The Verge. "I look around, and there was a big buck, standing right on the fringe of the wilderness and the mall. A calm came over people."
But New York is by no means the only city to have been frequented by unexpected visitors – in November last year, a “man-eating” tiger was apparently on the loose in Paris (although now they say it may not have been a tiger after all), and here in London we have also had our fair share. Below is a list of some of the craziest creatures to have roamed our streets (and motorways).

NORTH LONDON WALLABIES

Not one, but two of the marsupials were found walking around North London in 2013. It is thought someone dumped them in a wood nearby (why they were in the area in the first place remains a mystery).
The first was discovered near a playground, but died after undergoing foot surgery, while the second was safely re-homed after being found in Highgate Cemetery.

VICTORIA STATION SCORPION

In May last year, commuters at Victoria station received an extremely unwelcome surprise when a potentially dangerous scorpion was discovered.
It was captured when a man found it clinging to his bag and screamed. Station staff came to the rescue and put it in a lunch box until specialist wildlife crime officers from British Transport Police arrived.


Not what you expect to see at a busy London station (Source: Getty)

CENTRAL LONDON SNAKES

Less than a week after the scorpion appearance, a colony of around 30 snakes was seen hanging out of trees and on rooftops near Regent's Canal in Central London.
Aesculapian snakes are six feet in length and not the nicest creatures to come into contact with. No one's sure where they went, but hopefully they slithered off somewhere far away.


The slimy, slippery creatures are not what Londoners want to see (Source: Getty)

M25 HORSE

It's not unusual to see a horse in a city, but it's rare you see one wandering aimlessly on a motorway...
Earlier this month, though, that's exactly what happened – a horse caused severe delays on the M25 after it blocked the London orbital and caused the closure of the motorway between junctions 27 and 28.
Sophie Parker tweeted: “Stuck on the M25. Something about a horse. Not moved for like 15 mins. Don't come, save yourselves.”


People weren't too happy about the traffic jam (Source: Twitter)

ESSEX LION

A helicopter hunt was launched for this one – it's not every day you have a bonafide carnivore on the lose, after all.
A police search was triggered in the summer of 2012 after people staying at a caravan park reported sightings of "a very large animal" near Earl Hall Drive in St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea.
A picture of what was supposedly the lion sitting in a field circulated widely on Twitter.
The lion was never found, which caused most people to conclude it was a huge domestic cat. In fact, one woman claims it was her pet cat “Teddy Bear”, but some are adamant a lion is still out there.


Is it a lion? Or is it a cat? (Source: Twitter)

SURREY PUMA

In nearby Surrey, a rogue Puma has been spotted on and off since the 1959 (which would make it a very old puma by now).
A phantom puma? Possibly. The debate continues.


The Surrey puma: Fact or fiction? (Source: Getty)