One last installment (we hope) in the "Essex lion" saga.
Ginny Murphie, a 50-year-old woman from St. Osyth village, Clacton on Sea, says a lion thought to have been stalking Essex county is probably her cat.
She said her moggie, a 3-year-old ginger Maine Coon named Teddy Bear, regularly hunts in the fields around town.
Maine Coons, also known as American Longhairs, are much larger than the average cat. The American breed, known as "gentle giants," can weigh up to 25 lbs and have long, flowing coats.
Murphie told the Daily Mail that 3-foot-long Teddy Bear is nothing like a lion in temperament.
"He's the boss of the dog but he's quite docile and sweet-natured with humans," she said.
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Murphie was out of town when the Essex lion story broke, the Mail reported. Watching scenes on TV of police madly searching for the "lion," she had the feeling that her own cat was behind the drama.
British police had warned residents to stay indoors after receiving reports of a lion prowling the wilds of Essex. They wrapped up the lion hunt Monday after finding no trace of a big cat.
"We believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wildcat," a police statement said.
"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."
The Essex police force advised "people to once again return to normal life."
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