top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Search intensifies for ‘big cat’ spotted near villages in north France

“We are not sure that it is a lion or lioness,” said the gendarmerie, “but it is certainly a ‘big cat’.

The search for a “big cat” first spotted near a village in Pas-de-Calais in north France on Wednesday (October 13) - and again near another village today (October 15) - is picking up pace.

The Gendarmerie of Nord and Pas-de-Calais notified the public on Wednesday that the cat had been seen on the edges of the village of Auxi-le-Château at around 18:30, heading in the direction of Frévent.  

Around 20 gendarmes – alerted to the animal’s presence by a local resident – tracked it over the course of the evening but lost its trail. 

Yesterday, the search concentrated around Frévent, following further sightings by locals.

This morning, the cat was seen in a field near the village of Ligny-sur-Canche, which is approximately midway between Calais and Amiens. 

Around 60 gendarmes are at the scene and the RD 941 road between Ligny and Vacquerie-le-Boucq is closed. A helicopter has also been deployed to assist with the search. 

“We are not sure that it is a lion or lioness,” the gendarmerie said, “but it is certainly a ‘big cat’.

“The local population are urged to be vigilant,” as the animal did not seem to be afraid of people. In order to “protect” the town’s inhabitants, “armed officers” may be deployed. 

The French biodiversity agency, Office français de la biodiversité is helping to track the animal and determine its species by examining its faeces and its pawprints. 

There is neither a zoo nor a circus in the area and the gendarmerie believe that it could be an undeclared pet. 

Related articles

Donner sa langue au chat: A French expression you may hear today

New French anti animal mistreatment law to be discussed in Senate

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
Visa and residency cards for France*
Featured Help Guide
- Visas and residency cards (cartes de séjour) for France help guide - Understand when visas and residency cards are required to move to France or come for an extended stay - Applies to Britons (post-Brexit) and to all other non-EU/non-EEA/Swiss nationalities - Useful to anyone considering a move to France, whether for work or otherwise, or wanting to spend more than three months at their French second home
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