The search for a lion, reportedly on the loose in Essex, has been called off by police.
Officers spent almost 24 hours combing the countryside around Clacton-on-Sea after a group of residents claimed to have seen the animal near Earls Hall Drive in St Osyth on Sunday.
After search teams found no evidence of the big cat, the force decided to stop looking on Monday afternoon.
An Essex Police spokesman said: "We believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wildcat.
"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."
Police said they had to take the reports seriously because of their duty to protect public safety.
Helicopters with heat-seeking equipment were scrambled to an area where the creature was apparently seen on Sunday evening and experts from Colchester Zoo were called in to help.
They were shown images of the animal captured by a local and could not rule out that it was a lion.