First there was the Essex lion, now a French panther has been spotted prowling on rooftops in northern France.

Unlike the reports of a lion in Essex, which after an extensive search turned out just to be a plump cat, when the emergency services turned up to investigate the panther – that’s exactly what they found.

A vet and firefighters were called to reports of a big cat spotted on top of buildings in the French town of Armentieres, near Lllle, on Wednesday evening.

The panther could be seen in photos making itself comfortable by perching on the ledge of the building and later pacing outside a closed window.

A safety perimeter was set up before the panther was tranquilised and put into a cage.

Where the panther came from is not yet known, and no reports of an escape from a zoo have yet been reported.

An apparently unworried neighbour told the La Voix du Nord newspaper: She is beautiful, wonderful to see in real life.

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(c) Sky News 2019: Black panther found prowling on rooftops in France