What is it with Cornwall and escaped big cats? Just days after a missing lynx was finally tracked down, there are now reports of a lion on the loose.
The big cat was apparently spotted by a lorry driver near a clay pit in St Austell, Cornwall, reports the Daily Mail.
The shocked driver contacted police, describing the animal as having black markings on its face, a thorny colour, and a dark tail and when police arrived they found paw prints where the creature had crossed the road…
Dartmoor Zoo does keep African Lions, however they have confirmed that none of them are missing. Operations manager from the zoo, George Hyde, said it is extremely unlikely that a cat of that size could survive on Dartmoor.
There are rumours that there are big cats on Dartmoor after they were released in the 1970s but the chance of them having survived and had offspring is extremely low.
The sighting came at the same time that an escaped lynx – named Flaviu – was at large on Dartmoor. He was finally caught after after three weeks on the run and Mr Hyde believes this could’ve influenced the alleged sighting.
When big cats are on the loose like Flaviu was last month, people are on high alert and it is not uncommon for people to report pumas that later turn out to be large domestic cats – that may well be what happened here.
The last lion-sighting in the area was in 1998 when a motorist spotted a big cat running along a country lane in the South Hams, Dartmoor – but the creature was never found…