Michael Scott, his wife Sarah, and their three children were driving through the Wiltshire countryside on Thursday when they saw what they believed was a lion lying beside the road. The shocked and frightened couple stopped their car despite the danger and grabbed this fuzzy photo, which experts have been unable to verify as a genuine lion.
“It was a lion, alright”, said Michael (35), “I grabbed Sarah and said to her to look at that and she said it was a lion, definitely a lion, like, innit. I was lucky to be travelling with my camera on my lap. I pointed it out of the window and just grabbed a shot. My hands were shaking, I was sweating. It was surreal. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
The sighting of the beast, with a “shaggy mane like a lion” sparked a massive hunt but this had been called off by tea time. One of the couple’s children reported hearing a “roar like a tiger”, but this was later revealed by police to have been a cruel hoax by Ted (3) sitting in the car with the rest of the family.
There have been no confirmed sightings of the animal, despite an intensive search that spread all the way to Essex this weekend.
Experts are divided on what the animal was. “One problem is that of perspective”, said Richard Towriss, lion expert at Shipley zoo, “there’s just no way to tell the scale – it’s probably a ginger moggy sitting in some short grass.”
Whatever the animal, Michael remains convinced that it was a lion that he and his family drove past that day.
“It was a lion. I believe it was a lion now, and I’ll believe it was a lion the day that I die”.