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The 12 London animals who defined 2015

Written by
Kate Lloyd

It’s been a bit of a wild year; from Holborn getting rid of the ‘stand on the left’ rule to Boris Johnson taking out a kid during a game of touch rugby. Thing is, these moments are relatively tame compared to the literally wild animals who made their name in 2015.

1. The badass cat in Brockley Sainsbury's

The ginger kitty was dubbed the store's 'resident cat' and was snapped by shoppers prowling around the store and sitting on a sweet shelf.  

2. The micropig that was spotted running along the A4

Hammersmith police eventually managed to catch up with the tiny but quick-footed pig and have since taken it to Putney Animal Hospital where she's been checked over by staff and named 'Wilbur'. Aww. 

3. The toy monkey who got lost in Hackney

A kid lost her favourite monkey and wanted to be reunited so much that her parents put up a missing poster near Clissold Park. Things took a bit of a dark turn when someone responded with a ransom note saying: ‘If you want to see monkey again, leave the bananas on the front steps before midnight.’ 

4. The four-legged diners at the Curious Canine Kitchen

The term ‘dog’s dinner’ was redefined at pedigree pop-up The Curious Canine Kitchen in Shoreditch. Britain’s first pop-up fine diner for dogs offered a five-course tasting menu including tripe (yum!) and gluten-free cinnamon quinoa dog biscuits.

5. The cannibal super slugs

Our mild winter provided the perfect cosy home for Spanish cannibal ‘super slugs’. The creepy-crawlies are 15cm long, have an extra layer of slippery slime, and few natural predators – aside from angry gardeners wielding table salt.

6. Mini-pigs at the London Pignic

In May, mini-pig pop-up The London Pignic took place at the Proud Archivist. There was a new litter of piglets for visitors to play with. 

7. The fox who went to Caffe Nero

Back at the start of the year a YouTube video surfaced showing a fox darting around the BBC Broadcasting House branch of Caffe Nero. Poor thing. He just wanted a caffeine fix.

8. The polar bear who took the tube

The super realistic 8ft-long full-sized bear was a semi-animatronic puppet, which took two whole months to construct. 

9. Annie the Owl

The namesake bird at London's first owl pop-up, Annie the Owl was one of a number of owls at the controversial event.

10. The rare albino squirrel who was spotted in south London

The snowy-furred squirrel was snapped clinging on to a tree in Camberwell. Only one in 100,000 squirrels are born albino meaning there could be just a few dozen in the wild. 

11. The sloth at London Zoo who loved his teddy

The little guy was orphaned so he couldn't build his strength by holding onto his mum. Instead, he was given a teddy to cuddle. 


The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has records of 2,732 animals spotted in the river over the past ten years. The public have reported 245 porpoises, 12 dolphins and 49 whales. But the real captains of our waters are seals, of which there have been more than 700 sightings in the last ten years.

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