54. Something Strange In Southwark
On the morning of Tuesday 22nd April 2008 I met up with Paul Ross and JoAnne Good on their BBC Radio Breakfast Show to discuss sightings of mysterious creatures roaming the capital. After the talk, which was very well received, I went home, checked my mail and was stunned when I found a report sent by a Mr Burns, who claimed that on the same morning, but during the early hours, he'd seen a large felid in a very built-up area of London.
Mr Burns had been working nights delivering goods, and was in his van in the vicinity of Southwark Police Station when he spotted an animal he described as:
... a cat, about half as large again as a basic domestic cat but with the appearance more like that of a small cougar. I tried to attract its attention but it paid no heed to me whatsoever and walked through the vehicle entrance to the police station.
The witness was adamant he'd seen a cougar, also known as the puma, native to parts of the United States and Canada. He said the animal appeared tan-coloured, had a long tail and a small head. However, what was such an animal doing in Southwark? The borough is only five miles in length and nine miles in width, and known for its arts and theatres, not its extravagant wildlife.
After the sighting Mr Burns enquired at the station as to whether they had received any other reports of such an animal but his investigations drew a blank... and probably a smirk. However, with London once being the ideal residence of many species of large cat, as several swingers paraded their exotics in the '60s and then turned them loose in the '70s, it's no wonder that such elusive felids are still occasionally sighted prowling the dark alleyways and silent streets of a night, in search of a vulnerable scavenging fox or wandering moggie.
Keep 'em peeled... some 'thing' is out there.
Photo provided by the author.