Essex police hunting loose lion, presumed stuffed
Denise and Bob Martin reported the sighting to the police. They tell the BBC:
“To start with, we were convinced it was a lion… it’s the size of a lion.”
The BBC reports:
Firearms officers and police helicopters have joined the hunt for the lion. Police in Essex are investigating reports that a lion has been spotted in a field near St Osyth.
In recent years other big cats have been on the move:
“‘Escaped tiger’ spotted on hotel roof turns out to be a life-sized toy” – Daily Mirror , Jan 19, 2012
Update: search called off. No lion found. A police spokesman said:
“We believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wildcat. The photograph shows an animal in a field, it is a sandy brown colour. Extensive searches have been carried out, areas examined and witnesses spoken to – yet nothing has been found to suggest that a lion was in the area.”
“The photograph shows an animal in a field, it is a sandy brown colour, but the photography is of such poor quality it’s not possible for us to say one way or the other what it definitely is. There were absolutely no sightings of it during the time I was there. Nothing really to provide any further evidence to suggest it had been there.”
Having advised locals to remain in doors, the police not tell them to “be a bit cautious“.
And watch out for hippos.
Photo: Essex police unviel new uniform: Jack Rex, Belgian animal trainer, wrestles with a lion in a cage in the Cirque DÂHiver in Paris, France on Oct. 17, 1950 in rehearsal for his new and dangerous act which was presented to the Parisian public for the first time.
Update: The lion is a teddy bear: