Around 30 police and firefighters were mobilised on Friday in search of what could be a lynx or a lion on the loose in the northern French region of Normandy, an area very popular with British tourists.
After reports of sightings of a big cat in the area wandering the department of La Manche in the north western region of Normandy, emergency services jumped into action.
“We had witness reports from a motorist and a police officer on Friday afternoon which said that they had seen what they believed to be a big cat in the La Colombe area,” Michel Marquer from the local police said.
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File photo of a lion. Photo: AFP
The motorist spotted the animal on the A84 road (see below).
On top of the police officers and firefighters, a vet and a helicopter equipped with a thermal imaging camera were used in the hours-long search for the “big cat”.
Authorities advised anyone who sees the animal “not to approach it and to let the police know immediately.”
Photo: Google maps
“We haven't set up another search because we are faced with the possibility of a very mobile and timid animal,” the local police said, adding that a new search will be launched if they receive more witness reports.
“It could be a lion or a lynx. Specialists say that a lion eats four kilos of meat every day and if it is indeed a lion we would have found sheep or dog carcasses,” the police added.
This is the second report in as many weeks of a big cat wandering the French countryside with police on 20 July searching for a lioness which was reportedly on the loose in north west France.
In the Dordogne meanwhile, a hunter was last week trying to track down a potentially drug-addled deer after it attacked two locals and in the northern Oise department four runaway camels were tracked down by police after they escaped from a circus.