Citizens have been ordered to stay indoors.
It is unknown whether the animal is in fact a lion because of the nature of eyewitness testimony. After being shown a picture, though, experts at the Colchester Zoo believe it was indeed a lion spotted in a field in St. Oysth, Essex. Armed police were in the area, and a helicopter was flying over the field in question.
One local resident, Che Kevlin, told the BBC that he thought he heard a loud roar. "It was worrying as we had just been for a walk with the dog," Kevlin said. "We saw the police helicopter, but thought it was just searching for a person. ... It sounded like the roar of a lion."
The Essex Police tweeted, "Police are working with experts from Colchester Zoo who can tranquilize the animal when it is found."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has already been a Twitter account opened for The Essex Lion -- with more than 1,800 followers. Sending out tweets from in around Essex, the so-called Lion has written that it's hungry, and, among other things, "Meow."