Doncaster's Yorkshire Wildlife Park calms fears after 'escaped lion' rumour sweeps Facebook

Bosses at Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park have reassured residents after rumours swept social media that a lion had escaped and was on the loose in the town.

Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 8:06 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 8:08 am

Rumours began circulating on Facebook and Twitter earlier this week that one of the beasts had broken free of its enclosure and was prowling the local community.

One Twitter user wrote: “They telling people to stay indoors in Donny. Apparently a big cat escaped from wildlife sanctuary. Don't know if it's a lion or tiger or what though.”

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No lions are on the loose from Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

The rumours then began spreading across Facebook with several other people reporting the lion ‘escape.’

But a spokesman for the Branton-based visitor attraction said that the rumours were unfounded and that all the animals were safe – and still safely behind bars.

He said: “I can confirm that none of our lions have ever escaped their enclosure and we have advanced precautions and procedures in place to prevent this and to ensure the safety of the public and our animals.

“The post is completely false and all of our animals are secured in their enclosures.”

The escape panic follows a recent reporting of sighting of a 5ft long black panther in the area.

The animal was spotted on land near Potteric Carr Nature Reserve – and is the latest in a number of big cat sightings in the Doncaster area.