Inspector Carlton Young, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We’ve had unconfirmed reports of a lion or a lion cub in the area. We’ve had officers looking around. At the moment we’ve had nothing confirmed and we’ve not located anyone who is claiming to have lost an animal.”
Officers believe the woman – who claimed to have seen a lion on Penistone Road, Shepley – was a genuine caller. Around 12 officers were dispatched to look for a lion along with a police helicopter.
Credit: @Hayleystevens on Twitter
And Hayley writes a blog about it. She makes all the salient points – misidentification is common, people now are primed to see a big cat when there really isn’t one around, etc. Check out that post as well.
Odds are that it was a complete misidentification. But it also caused a bit of a panic and incurred the costs of police running around the countryside. Ugh.