The Urban Jungle

There’s not much demand for moose experts in Tooting, SW London. It’s a shame really as I’m getting to be quite an expert on them, I can tell you they are very dumb animals, they don’t really sleep for long periods at night, they are kack handed or should I say kack pawed, clumsy, ungainly, uncoordinated and very noisy, basically they’re cows with antlers and they make baying noises when mating. I know all this because I have one living in the apartment above me. Well, at least that’s the only explanation I can think of for the weird noises that emanate from above at all times of the day and night. I hear Mr Moose crashing into furniture and knocking things over at some very late times and then he’s at it again at six in the morning. Occasionally I will hear grunting and baying as it’s obviously rutting season and I’m seriously considering renting out my flat to some BBC Nature Unit with David Attenborough in tow.

I checked that fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, and it seems there are anywhere between 500,000 and 1, 000,000 moose in Canada, and 115,000 in Finland but I’ve had to adjust the entry for the UK from zero to one mating pair. Rather interestingly, I note that the triangular warning signs common in Sweden, Norway, and Finland have become coveted souvenirs among tourists travelling in these countries, causing the road authorities so much expense that the moose signs have been replaced with image-less generic warning signs in some regions. I suspect that’s what’s happening here in Tooting too, I’m sure there were warning signs up everywhere at one stage but they are nowhere to be found these days and I blame the tourists.

And then there’s the walrus that’s taken up residence in the flat downstairs. He snores a lot!

Moose (and the occasional walrus) aren’t the only wildlife we have here in Tooting, we have a menagerie of other wild animals though thankfully most of them are locked up in school classrooms from 8:15 to 3:30 each day. However, we do have some very cute city foxes, and these are often visible from my flat window. Most folk in London get irritated by the city foxes that do much the same job as raccoons in the States but I don’t mind the foxes that much, except when they are fauxing in my back garden where-upon they make the most god awful racket, like two Bobcats fighting. I have actually spotted foxes in Leicester Square early in the morning which is kind’a like spotting a moose in Times Square in NYC. I can’t think where they stay during the day, there’s no derelict buildings anywhere nearby and the parks are too far away, I can only assume they do what all other Londoners do and catch the tube in during the evening before returning to the suburbs in the morning.

It’s interesting to think that a city the size of London could be so full of wildlife but one does see some strange sights. Last week a lemur was found nearly frozen to death on Tooting Common. Yes, you read that right.

Tooting's newest resident

I DO hope you can see these links above. I’m telling you, this place is like Noah’s Ark and it’s the perfect spot to film Madagascar 3, the director wouldn’t actually have to import any animals, he could just point a camera in any random direction and Bob’s yer uncle, movie made.