– Essex Police spokesman
We believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wildcat.
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.
We would like to thank the local community and holidaymakers for their patience and support throughout the past 24 hours as the police and media presence would have been somewhat overwhelming for them.
Essex Police have called off a search for a lion reportedly on the loose and suggested it was more likely to be a large domestic cat or wildcat. The Daily Mirror reports it could be a ginger tomcat called Tom that lives near to the original sighting.