top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Lioness whereabouts still unknown

A feline on the loose in the north-west continues to evade capture - but authorities have cast doubt on 'sightings'

The hunt for the mysterious lioness said to be on the loose in northwest France has taken another twist, as the 'animal' continues to evade capture.

Authorities first became aware of the animal on Thursday, after police in the Mayenne received a series of calls from members of the public who said they had seen what was described as either a lioness or perhaps a young male lion between the town of Laval and the village of Vaiges, west of Le Mans.

The big cat was first sighted in a field in Changé, and since then up to five witnesses have come forward. 

But, following initial searches, authorities are increasingly certain that the sightings are not of a lion. According to the Mayenne prefecture office director Anthony Boukoucha, there is 'no material evidence' to corroborate the witness accounts - no farmers have reported that livestock have been killed, and no prints have been found despite several searches of the vicinity.

“There are witnesses but no traces of the animal,” said Yann Huchedé, head of the nearby animal rescue foundation Refuge d’Arche. “It’s difficult to know if the animal is dangerous because we don’t know its history, how close it has been to humans. It could also be another type of feline.”

A theory that the animal may have been kept privately is also being questioned. The head of Mayenne's National Office of Hunting and Wildlife, Denis Leroy, said: "Owners of such an animal must have the appropriate diplomas and must be registered with local authorities. There is no-one registered in the area."

Anyone who believes they may have seen the animal is advised to dial 17.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now