Homeowners in Birmingham have been left petrified after locals spotted what they said was a ‘big cat’ roaming around suburbia at night.
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 aren’t missing any animals from their grounds.
The 53-year-old teaching assistant said:
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.
It just went mad when I posted it on Facebook.
There were so many people worried about what it might be, and thousands of people commenting saying they thought it was a big cat.
I just wanted to warn people living round here, especially if they have children.
I am particularly scared because I work night shifts and I’m worried that I might bump into it one night.
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.
West Midlands Police said as no one had reported the incident to them they would not be carrying out an investigation.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what’s going to happen with this mysterious beast.
BTW, if you’ve ever wondered the ins and outs of a zoo escapee, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm explains:
Zoos are incredible places to visit both educationally and for leisure, a long-standing popular day out for all. Showcasing rare, exotic animals – some big, some small – and each with unique behaviour and temperaments, they are a real treat for visitors. But it’s also a challenge for Keepers and zoo managers to provide the best environment for the animals, and protect them and the paying public – a busy park full of different species with unique requirements and thousands of excitable visitors.
So, what do zoos do to prevent escapes and plan for in case they do happen? Is there specialist training and are you, the visitor, in safe hands when you visit your local animal park. In brief, yes. With today’s environmental licensing, local authority management and zoo-industry knowledge-sharing, zoos are the best equipped they’ve ever been on the whole to deal with situations when their animals don’t quite follow the script.
Keep doing you, big cat. I think you’re just misunderstood.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]