Police hunt Big Cat in northern France

Police in France are on a hunt to catch or even kill a mysterious big black cat – described as a “panther” about 1.2 metres long.

Police hunt 1.2m ‘cat’

Scores of policemen, some armed with shotguns, are hunting a mysterious big black feline spotted in northern France.

The operation was launched on Wednesday near the town of Boulogne-sur-Mer after several panicked people first raised the alarm on seeing what they described as a “panther” about 1.2 metres long on a popular beach.

Some 80 officers and a helicopter were immediately deployed on a search and the beach was closed for a day, but they failed to find their quarry.

Belgian tourists and residents then reported seeing the black beast on Friday and on Saturday, people out strolling saw it in the middle of a corn field.

Police finally spotted it through binoculars.

“It’s a black or dark feline, fairly hefty, not very high but pretty long,” one officer said.

“It’s not a panther, it’s a big cat with at least a metre in length.”

He says it appears to have disappeared into forested areas, frustrating efforts to catch it or kill it.

The type and origin of the big cat is unknown.

A circus in the area denies having lost any animals.

The sightings recall those of a similar beast seen in the nearby town of Touquet in 1986 that was never found despite the efforts of 50 officers and a helicopter.

Story, ABC News Online .

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