Lion on the Loose in Britain?!

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One of the stranger stories of the year hit Britain this weekend, as police hunted for a lion on the loose in Essex. The police were called in after there were numerous sightings from locals of what looked like a lion. However, after a fruitless 24-hours, the search was called off due to a lack of any evidence being found.

This bizarre story all started when a holidaymaker reported that he had seen a lion in a field near the Essex coast on Sunday evening. A grainy photo (above) of the animal was shown to experts at the nearby Colchester Zoo, who admitted that there was the possibility it was a lion.

With this ‘confirmation' the police got involved, advising people in the local area to stay indoors. With the news unsurprisingly spreading across Twitter like wildfire, more and more supposed sightings came flooding in and police launched a huge search for the beast. By Monday morning there were 25 officers, a specialist firearm unit and two police helicopters all on the hunt for the Essex Lion. A second picture supposedly taken in the local area also hit the news:

Essex Lion

Fruitless Search

However, the police found no sign of a lion. No paw prints, no droppings, no fur, and certainly no sightings. What's more, the local zoo wasn't missing any big cats and a circus that had been in the area confirmed that: "Officers have spoken to the circus and confirmed that they do not have an animal missing, nor do they have any lions".

After a day of finding absolutely no evidence, the police decided to call the search off. A spokesman revealed:

"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."

So, if it wasn't a lion, what was the Beast of Essex? There have been a number of theories, ranging from a pet dog, to a wildcat. However, our favourite is that it was simply a local ginger pet cat called Teddy Bear who lives just a few hundred yards from where the ‘lion' was seen.

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