Have you ever seen any wildlife in London? There are three common species which overrun the city – they are either vermin or cute and cuddly, depending on your viewpoint!
First of all are the foxes. You may know that rural foxhunting, which was banned by the previous government, is a very emotive issue for some people in the UK, but many foxes themselves have moved to the city to become an urban species. Foxes are hunters in the countryside but in the city they get lazy and become scavengers, getting their food from bins. Opinion is divided as to whether they are a nuisance or not. One thing I would say though is that they seem to be becoming much bolder – although they are naturally nocturnal it's not unusual to see them out and about in the daytime.
If you’ve spent any time in any of the capital’s beautiful parks then chances are that you’ve seen a squirrel. They have no natural predators and seem to grow quite big and fat in the city. These creatures are quite entertaining to watch as they are so acrobatic, and are easily able to jump from tree to tree.
Finally, London's bird population is completely dominated by pigeons. Like foxes, they are scavengers who thrive on the rubbish left behind by humans. Unlike birds in the countryside, the city's pigeons seem scruffy and look as if they've seen better days.
So, when you're out and about keep an eye out for London's wildlife and let me know if you spot any! Photos would be much appreciated!
rural (adj.) - from the countryside
foxhunting (n.) - the sport of killing foxes with specially trained dogs
emotive (adj.) - causing strong emotions
scavenger (n.) - a creature who lives on food left over from other species
nuisance (n.) - something which causes annoyance
bold (adj.) - brave, not scared
noctural (adj.) - only coming out at night
(the) chances are (exp.) - it's likely that
predator (n.) - a creature which hunts and kills other creatures for food
acrobatic (adj.) - able to move in a quick and complicated way
thrive (v.) - become very successful
scruffy (adj.) - dirty and messy
to look as if it's seen better days (exp.) - to appear in a worse condition than in the past
to keep and eye out for (exp.) - to try to notice
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