Almost a year has past since we were last talking about Black Panther, and this time we’re not on about Marvel superheroes, but a garden based prank which has had a Scottish neighbourhood in a panic.
Police reports yesterday (Friday October 19), of a ‘black panther’ on the loose put Ayrshire residents on edge.
Although Hollywood execs are hardly likely to turn this into a box office blockbuster, this is a tale which has made the small screen and the national press.
POLICE SAFETY WARNING – DRONGAN AND COALHALL
Officers are asking residents to be vigilant after a report has been received of a sighting of what is believed to be a black panther in the fields near to the B730. Do not approach it, contact Police via 101.https://t.co/TbTiRZIIvB pic.twitter.com/kmLDnnptic
— EastAyrshirePolice (@AyrshireEPolice) October 19, 2018
As well as the tweet, Police Scotland released a statement, which read:
Residents in Drongan and Coalhall are being advised by officers to be vigilant after a report has been received of a sighting of what is believed to be a black panther in the fields near to the B730 between the two villages.
Officers are currently working with the SSPCA to locate the animal which may be injured.
The area is popular with dog walkers so care should be taken and if anyone sees the animal we would ask you not to approach it.
Rather than get into a state of panic, people on Twitter instead opted to make light of the situation, making jokes about the ‘panther’, and a fake account belonging to the ferocious feline appeared on the platform.
One lad went a step further, posting a picture to Facebook of a fake panther and in the process, went viral with his hoax effort.
18-year-old Robbie Brown, laser cut a replica panther and posted images to social media leading to more panic from concerned residents.
He told The Scottish Sun:
I just did it for a laugh. Everyone was talking about the other sighting so I spent ten minutes crafting one out of metal.
It got a crazy reaction on Facebook, and some people thought it was real. Others realised it was fake because the tail was in the same position in every picture. It’s been a good laugh.
Police sources confirmed to The Scottish Sun one member of the public contacted them in regards to the laser cut cat.
Among the 1.5k comments on Robbie’s post, titled ‘Panther spotted outside Sinclairston’, people were on the whole more forgiving and made light of the situation.
Connor and Connor could see through the fake:
Shauna showed how difficult it is to convey sarcasm online:
This guy wasn’t buying it:
Reckon Jim might know a thing or two about the ‘panther’:
Meanwhile, homeowners in Birmingham were left petrified after locals spotted what they said was a ‘big cat’ roaming around suburbia at night in May earlier this year.
Dawn Paige got the ‘shock of her life’ when she caught the animal, which some believe to be a lion.
Her security cameras picked up the animal walking by her rubbish bins at her home in Oldbury, West Midlands.
Nearby Dudley Zoo, some four miles away from Dawn’s house, said it does look like ‘a big cat’ but confirmed they weren’t missing any animals from their grounds.
I saw my bins had been moved and I thought it was kids messing around. I had the shock of my life when I saw that thing come into view. I was physically shaking.
At first, I thought it must be a big dog, but it moves just like a cat.
I took the footage into work and asked some of the teachers what they thought, and they agree with me it looks like a leopard, or a she-lion.
I’ve got a little dog and I’m absolutely terrified for her safety.
A spokesman for Dudley Zoo said:
We were sent the footage and we could not positively identify what the animal was, but may have possibly been a large dog.
The UK is a seriously wild place.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.