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Search for suspected big cat is called off

The policing operation to find a suspected large cat in north-east Essex has been called off.

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Police had been contacted shortly before 7pm on Sunday, August 26 following a reported sighting of what holidaymakers described as a lion sitting in a field off Earls Hall Drive in St Osyth.

Officers had spent Sunday night searching for any trace of an animal and the operation continued on the morning of Monday, August 27. However, the force ended the search at 2pm on Monday after finding no trace of any big cat.

A police spokesman said: "We believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wildcat. 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. We would like to thank the local community and holidaymakers for their patience and support throughout the past 24 hours as the police and media presence would have been somewhat overwhelming for them.”

Public safety had remained at the forefront of the policing operation, with the force advising people to once again return to normal life.

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