Police searching for a lion in Essex say they are taking the hunt seriously.Oh, Gawd help us all...
The police enlisted the help of experts from Colchester Zoo, who believe the sighting to be genuine after viewing a photograph of the creature taken by a resident.Well, that was what they said at first.
But, as the hunt continued and it started to look a bit like they might have been had, the backtracking started in earnest:
Sarah Forsyth, a rhino curator (Ed: Nope. Me neither...) who lives on site at Colchester Zoo and was called to help the police investigate reports of a lion sighting, told the Guardian that pictures of the 'animal' were ambiguous and of poor quality.Really, love? You don't say!
"By the time we got there whatever it was had gone. We were shown some photographs, but they were from very far away, very poor quality and to be honest there was no way of saying 'yes' or 'no'," Forsyth said.That's not what you said earlier. Would it have helped if they'd been looking for some other sort of beast?
Asked if she was sceptical that the animal pictured was a lion, she said: "I think it's unlikely. I think it was more likely to be a dog. It certainly wasn't a male lion. It didn't have a mane."*cough*
Forsyth, who police are keeping on standby for any further sightings (Ed: Yeah. She'll clearly be a big help!), said they found no droppings or footprints to indicate the presence of a big cat. Asked whether she thought the police operation had been necessary, she said: "I think they kind of have to because there was no way of saying that it definitely wasn't a lion."Apart from the fact that no zoos or circuses are missing any lions, you mean?
You can, of course, always trust Twitter to rise to the occasion:
Update: The 'Mail' has the photo - it's so clearly a large domestic ginger cat that serious questions need to be asked about the competence of Essex Police.
I rather liked the comment on saw at the Independent site:
"A lion? In Essex? Has it no pride?"
I saw even...
Even if it was a lion, the cast of TOWIE would soon see it off...
Hey c'mon, it is a Bank Holiday after all .. the Lion is obviously having a lie - in today. But tomorrow the headlines will shout of carnage and terror prowling the 7:15 am from Southend as desperate commuters try to get away from people who claim to have "seen the lion in their back garden" and want to let everyone know about it etc. etc.
"Update: The 'Mail' has the photo - it's so clearly a large domestic ginger cat that serious questions need to be asked about the competence of Essex Police. "
So I followed the link and saw the picture for myself. Yes it's a domestic moggie. Also, if you scroll down through the photos to the one with Mo Farah you will see that lions have rounded ears.
gadget will dimand chairs and wips for us all now
It's just plain dangerous down south - we don't get lions and all that.
Aren't Essex police the guys who famously mis-fuelled loads of vehicles and caused £10's of fazzand o panzs damages?
"I rather liked the comment on saw at the Independent site:
"A lion? In Essex? Has it no pride?""
Yes, that was a good one! Twitter is the best medium for these fast-developing stories...
"So I followed the link and saw the picture for myself. Yes it's a domestic moggie. "
Named 'Teddy'. As I suspected, a Maine Coon.
"It's just plain dangerous down south - we don't get lions and all that."
I'd put up with lions just to get a few non-hysterical and half-blind cops!
"Aren't Essex police the guys who famously mis-fuelled loads of vehicles and caused £10's of fazzand o panzs damages?"
Yes indeed, so much so, they considered this precaution.
You are not supposed to say "droppings", you have to say "spoor".
Given Essex Police sent their armed response team with the standard equipment (hardly hunting calibre) I rather doubt they are ginned up on the finer points of big game tracking!
Silly buggers at the zoo. the shape of the ears says it all, big domestic cat. Plus the farmer had harvested his grain and said the stubble was 9 inches high.
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