A LION is being hunted in Essex after reports of a big cat on the prowl.
People were warned to stay indoors after the creature was seen in a field beside a caravan site.
More than 30 officers, some armed, joined the hunt.
They showed pictures taken by a witness to experts from Colchester Zoo — who said they believed it WAS a lion.Farm worker Guy Hunt, who saw the photo, said: “It looked like a lion to me. It’s huge and yellow. I don’t want to mess with it.”
Two police helicopters were sent to the village of St Osyth.
Rick Baker, 39, of Romford, Essex, saw the lion while walking with his two sons, aged nine and 11, near the Seawick Holiday Park. Van driver Rick said: “It is a male lion, the size of three Great Danes. A bloke came running, shouting, ‘It’s a bloomin’ lion’.
“My sons are quite frightened. One of them keeps asking me, ‘Daddy, the lion’s not going to eat us is it?’”
Dave Sparks, 33, who owns the Red Lion in St Osyth, said: “People are concerned. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true. Strange things have happened in this village.”
All animals at Colchester Zoo were accounted for. A circus which moved on from nearby Clacton earlier this month could not be contacted last night. Cops said they were taking the reports seriously.