London is home to a huge number of famous residents – both living and dead – and anyone interested in paying a visit to one of the city’s most famous dwellers could be in for a real surprise.
That’s because a wallaby has been spotted in Highgate Cemetery, the final resting place of Karl Marx.
While marsupials are not indigenous to the UK, no zoos in the local area have reported any missing animals, and local authorities are at a loss as to where the wallaby came from.
Despite this, representatives of Highgate Cemetery say they have no plans to remove the creature and will allow it to settle in the graveyard.
Melanie Wynward, who runs visitor services at the cemetery, told the BBC: “The animal is in a section of the cemetery which is only accessible on the guided tours.”
“I’ve had a call from a lady who wanted to rescue and adopt it but I told her we’d take care of it.”
Because of Marx’s presence, the setting has become something of a pilgrimage site for socialists, communists and social and economic theorists of many different creeds, although the political affiliations of the wallaby remain unclear.
Staff are now leaving fruit and vegetables lying around to help the animal settle, and hope that it will set up a permanent home there.
This is something that is sure to please visitors, with the cemetery already looking after foxes, rare insects and bees.
For those who don’t know, wallabies are similar to kangaroos although slightly smaller, and are native to Australia.
Several have been introduced to parks and zoos in the UK, which means the most likely explanation for the animal’s appearance is that it must have escaped from a nearby menagerie such as Golders Hill Park, although the mystery has yet to be cleared up.