- 27 updates
The Daily Mirror have published pictures of a cat suspected to be behind a huge lion-hunt yesterday. The 12-year-old ginger tomcat, Tom sparked a two-day police operation amounting to £25,000.
The Daily Mail claimed that Teddy Bear, a three-year-old Maine Coon cat was the "Essex Lion". The cat's owner said:
A £25,000 operation involving more than 30 officers was most likely caused by 12-year-old ginger tomcat, Tom, the Daily Mirror has reported. Police called off a huge lion-hunt yesterday after deciding the alert was sparked by a large domestic cat.
A carer from the local old people's home that the cat is reportedly from said:
Essex police have called off a search for a lion reportedly on the loose.
Officers have spent almost 24 hours combing the countryside around Clacton-on-Sea after a group of residents claimed to have seen the animal near Earls Hall Drive in St Osyth.
But after search teams found no evidence of the big cat, the force this afternoon decided to stop looking.
Essex Police has not found any proof - such as pawprints or droppings - to confirm that a lion is on the loose in the area.
A spokesman said between two and six people claimed to have seen the big cat but there had been no further sightings since yesterday.
The hunt is likely to be scaled down tonight if no evidence emerges, the spokesman added.
Roger Lord, of Earls Hall Farm, St Osyth, said caravan residents on the farm land passed police a picture of the suspected lion after photographing it.
Most of the residents of the caravans were on site at the time of the sighting, he added: "I think most of them were on site at the time, so more than one person saw it."
Essex Police are continuing their search for a suspected lion on the loose after holidaymakers sighted a large cat in St Oysth at 7pm last night.
The force also said they were trying to establish where any lion may have originated from.
Firearms officers and police helicopters have joined the hunt for a lion that is thought to be roaming loose in Essex. Jonathan Swain, Daybreak Correspondent, has the full report:
Latest ITV News reports
A search for a lion in Essex has been called off, with police believing the rogue animal was most likely to be a "large domestic cat".
Police are responding to reports that a lion was seen in a field near the Essex village of St Osyth. Firearms officers have been deployed.