Police officers, who were informed about the sighting of a “large apex predator” in the small town of Horsham in England, arrived there to find a stuffed toy that appeared like a black-furred big cat from a distance.
Horsham Police Department was alerted about a “big cat on the loose” at a public park in West Sussex. Officials arrived at the park to find a black panther-like animal clinging to a park bench. But the big cat turned out to be a stuffed toy when officers inched closer to it.
The police department posted about the incident on Twitter on Friday, July 24. “Reports of a large apex predator in the Steyning area turned out to be true,” the department said, sharing a photo of the “predator” taken from a distance. “It may be a stuffed toy, but the attending officers didn’t necessarily know that at first.”
The apex predators are at the top of a food chain and they can kill and eat the largest prey animals in their environment with little fear of being hunted by another animal. They include tiger, lion, leopard shark, and crocodile.
In Britain, there were previous similar instances wherein the “apex predators” turned out to be stuffed toys. It was only in May 2019, that Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was called to rescue a tiger being kept in a cramped cage in Devon, Southwest England. The tiger, to their surprise, turned out to be a stuffed toy.
The Friday incident left Twitter users in splits. “This should be enough proof that I really need to read the entire tweet before I look at the photo attached,” one person commented. “My god that looks real,” said another.