These images show a black panther that escaped from its owner when he went on holiday “taking a stroll” on the rooftops of a French town causing local cats to scarper.
Firemen were called to the scene on Wednesday evening in the northern French town of Armentieres, in the Nord department, in the Hauts-de-France region, after the black panther (Panthera pardus) was spotted prowling the rooftops, as can be seen in these images.
Witnesses told local media that the black panther “would stop to watch a nearby train go by or to stare fixedly at a cat running off down the street.”
Eyewitnesses also snapped these pictures of the huge predator walking past the windows of their 1930s brick houses. According to local media, the panther wandered around the block of six houses for about an hour. Every now and then, it would go into a flat on the third floor, through its open window, before coming back outside for more fresh air.
After police set up a secure perimeter, the firemen were able to trap the fierce feline “inside a home” it had entered. A forestry official then shot it with a “hypodermic rifle” that shoots anaesthetic darts.
Once caged, the panther was handed over to animal protection organisation the ‘Ligue de protection des animaux’ (LPA; the League for the protection of animals).
The animal, which reportedly weighs between 25 and 30 kilogrammes (55 and 66 lbs), reportedly belongs to a local – who is on holiday.
Police are expected to question him upon his return. In the meantime, the big cat is reportedly set to be handed over to a zoo.
Firemen said it was an “unusual” operation. A police officer said: “After 20 years on the force, I have never seen anything like it. A snake, sure. But not a big cat like this.”
Onlooker Aissata, 19, who lives across the street, said: “It is beautiful! It’s great to see one in real life!”
No one was injured.
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