Police search for mysterious feline on the loose in Normandy countryside

French police have received more reports of a large feline on the loose in the French countryside, this time in Normandy.

Police search for mysterious feline on the loose in Normandy countryside
File photo of a Lynx not related to the story. Photo: Pixabay
Around 30 police and firefighters were mobilised on Friday in search of what could be a lynx or a lion on the loose in the northern French region of Normandy, an area very popular with British tourists. 
After reports of sightings of a big cat in the area wandering the department of La Manche in the north western region of Normandy, emergency services jumped into action. 
“We had witness reports from a motorist and a police officer on Friday afternoon which said that they had seen what they believed to be a big cat in the La Colombe area,” Michel Marquer from the local police said.
File photo of a lion. Photo: AFP
The motorist spotted the animal on the A84 road (see below). 
On top of the police officers and firefighters, a vet and a helicopter equipped with a thermal imaging camera were used in the hours-long search for the “big cat”. 
Authorities advised anyone who sees the animal “not to approach it and to let the police know immediately.”
Photo: Google maps
“We haven't set up another search because we are faced with the possibility of a very mobile and timid animal,” the local police said, adding that a new search will be launched if they receive more witness reports. 
“It could be a lion or a lynx. Specialists say that a lion eats four kilos of meat every day and if it is indeed a lion we would have found sheep or dog carcasses,” the police added. 
This is the second report in as many weeks of a big cat wandering the French countryside with police on 20 July searching for a lioness which was reportedly on the loose in north west France.
In the Dordogne meanwhile, a hunter was last week trying to track down a potentially drug-addled deer after it attacked two locals and in the northern Oise department four runaway camels were tracked down by police after they escaped from a circus.


Lynx takes a rest on Norwegian family’s front drive

Usually a shy animal, a lynx offered an unusual sight at a family home in Trøndelag County when it strolled up the driveway and observed passing traffic.

Lynx takes a rest on Norwegian family’s front drive
A Eurasian lynx. Photo: lightpoet/Depositphotos

The rare wildlife sighting was originally reported by broadcaster NRK, which writes that 19-year-old Eirin Fjelle Tangvik managed to film the animal outside her home on Friday last week.

A medium-sized wild cat, the Eurasian lynx is the only wild cat native to Norway.

Although more common in far northern pine forest areas in Eurasia, smaller fragmented populations can be found in more southern regions, such as central county Trøndelag.

The nocturnal predator is rarely observed in the open, however.

“It was half past four in the afternoon and I was about to leave for work. Then I saw a large animal sitting at the bottom of our driveway. At first, I couldn’t figure out what it was and wondered whether it was a cat,” Tangvik said to NRK.

“It sat quietly watching the cars passing by. After a while it looked a bit frightened, and it started to walk up the road by our house. On the way into the garden it rubbed against a house corner, then it disappeared into the forest,” she continued.

The experience was more exciting than scary for the young observer, although she was concerned about the lynx attacking the family cat, according to NRK’s report.

Sightings of lynxes in residential areas are more common than many may think, wildlife researcher Jenny Mattisson of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research told NRK.

“Often, it can be a case of young animals who are on the move to find their own habitat. Their journeys can pass places like this,” Mattisson said.

READ ALSO: Norway lynx numbers 'lowest in twelve years'