Black panther on the loose near town – locals urged to stay away

A black panther is on the loose in a town in Spain, with residents urged to avoid local fields.

Authorities have warned the predator is at large in the town of Ventas de Huelma, near Granada in southern Spain.

Environmental agents have been dispatched to search the area along with Civil Guard Seprona agents after several sightings.

The teams are using thermal imaging cameras and helicopters to patrol the area from above.

A cyclist managed to get a clear photograph of the big cat, confirming its existence, 20 Minutos reports.

The panther is believed to be constantly changing its location and travelling between neighbouring towns.

It is not yet known where the animal originally came from.

Back in June, Gloucestershire Police called off a search for a black panther after the animal turned out to be a house cat.

A drone unit was dispatched following a supposed sighting near Swindon .

Drone pilot Special Inspector Guy Sanders raced to the scene in Chiseldon, Wiltshire, to support other officers as they hunted for the animal .

Black panther on the loose near town – locals urged to stay away

It came after a 27-year-old dog walker reported similar prowling cat roaming around Wildmoorway Lane, in the Cotswolds.

The panther could not be located, but officers did find a large domestic cat called Albert.

Wiltshire Police drone unit tweeted: “A busy night for the team. A firearms deployment, a high risk missing person, a medical tasking to an RTC, oh and to try and help locate a Black Panther.

“Fortunately all resolved safely. And the panther turned out to be Albert the large domestic cat.”

Mr Sanders added: “The cat couldn’t work out what all the fuss was about.”