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A flock of pelicans has been spotted out and about in London’s West End

Chris Waywell
Written by
Chris Waywell

In one of those ‘and finally’ stories that news broadcasters traditionally use to wrap up 30 minutes of unremitting grim awfulness, a flock of pelicans was spotted over the weekend calmly taking a stroll down a West End London street.

Initially, it was reported as having taken place on The Mall, but #becauseinternet, helpful voices quickly chimed in to point out that, no, that would be Birdcage Walk, because The Mall is a big four-lane road, and what the hell is the matter with you people looking at displaced tropical wildlife and not paying close attention to the beauties of the capital’s transport infrastructure? Other commenters revealed a distressing lack of London knowledge:

Image: Twitter

In fact, the birds are residents of the adjoining St James’s Park. They originally arrived on our shores as a gift from the Russian ambassador in 1664 (a ravening horde of large birds with an insatiable appetite for fresh fish is a much more thoughtful gift than, say, a set of punch cups or something). They have become a familiar sight in the park since, calmly co-habiting with tourists and office workers trying to have a quiet sandwich. Their daily feeding has become an attraction in its own right.

Now, following stories of herds of deer occupying corners of the capital and sheep taking over a McDonald’s in Wales, it seems that this is the latest example of nature ignoring the lockdown and setting off to explore new pastures (though, to be fair, these pelicans’ social distancing was pretty textbook. Well done, pelicans!).

Find more weird news for weird times, some of it involving animals.

More stuff to keep you entertained during the lovely long light-filled evenings indoors.

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