A large proportion of the London Fire Brigade's time is spent on callouts to distressed animals. The folks down at Emu Analytics have put together a map of every animal-related incident from 1 January 2009 until 1 January 2017. Over eight years the fire brigade responded to 4,714 calls for help. That's roughly 1.6 calls a day.
It's probably not surprising to hear that cats are the most regular culprits — they're behind 2,332 of the calls. For animals who are supposed to be capable solitary creatures, they sure do need a lot of help getting down from trees.
The fire brigade is trying to reduce the number of calls they receive for animal rescues, as it expends valuable resources. The map poignantly shows how much each call costs the fire brigade, some in excess of £1,000. They want people to call the RSPCA first. The map shows a number of incidents where the RSPCA called the fire brigade if the case was too serious for them to tackle alone.
The map lets you see what incidents have happened in your area and when. It might not be surprising to note that the horse and deer incidents tend to happen towards the fringes of the city. If you look hard you can catch some animals a long way from home; we're looking at you iguana in West Drayton.
Trawling through the map (you can have a play with it yourself here) we found one or two particularly amusing calls. Our favourite was in Bromley: "Two dogs in toilet, elderly woman involved". We also hope the "Cat trapped down disused toilet in derelict building" made it out OK. What is it people always say about curiosity?