Parque Kennedy – Lima, Peru - Atlas Obscura
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Lima, Peru

Parque Kennedy

A Peruvian public park has a mysteriously large cat population that a number of locals would rather see dead. 

Located in the heart of the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru, Parque Kennedy has mysteriously become a haven for over 100 stray cats which are beloved and bemoaned in equal measures by the local population. 

Named after John F. Kennedy and more specifically the aid he provided Peru during his stint as President of the United States, the park has been home to countless stray felines for over 20 years. No one is certain why the cats began congregating at the park, but the unconfirmed stories say that a pregnant cat might have been abandoned in the park and the population boomed from her, while others believe they are descended from mousers that escaped from a local church. However they got there, the cats have continued to grow in numbers over the years as many locals continue to bring their unwanted pets to be abandoned in the park.

Unfortunately animal cruelty and even poisoning is a rising issue in the city as a whole and especially in the park. Many people believe that the untamed cats population in the park is not only a health issue, but also a cleanliness issue, since there are no masters to clean up after the animals. Some of the resentment towards the cats has not only led to their poisoning, but even the good samaritans who leave food out for the animals are afraid of reprisal.

Despite the bad blood, Parque Kennedy and its cats have become a landmark in Miraflores. Any visit to Peru can be made that much more adorable with quick stop in the square. At least until all the cats are killed.