Armed police swarm house over ‘large cat’ sighting in North London

Armed police swarmed a resident’s garden in North London this week after recieveing reports a big cat was on the loose in the area.

Pictures taken in a garden in East Finchley show a large cat with spotted markings, which multiple residents feared was a cheetah or leopard.

The Metropolitan Police were called and armed officers were sent to Winnington Road at around 9pm following reports a wild cat was roaming around.

Nirmal Sethia, who lives in the area, told the Daily Mail the police turned up to his home and asked if they could search his garden for the cat.

“Slowly more and more people started coming and about 12 police, then 15 to 20. Most of them had guns, some had machine guns. Some had those electronic tasers,” the 78-year-old said.

“They identified the cat. They were totally vigilant. The cat was hidden behind in the bushes and made its way along the back of my garden.”

Mr Sethia said there was also a helicopter above his home aiding in the search, with a wild species expert also called to the property.

However, upon viewing the animal the expert deduced it wasn’t a leopard or a cheetah but a “crossbreed of a domestic cat and a Savannah cat” and was likely someone’s pet.

“The expert opinion was that this animal was not dangerous and not a threat to the public,” the Metropolitan Police said.

But despite the expert opinion that the cat wasn’t dangerous, Mr Sethia wasn’t convinced and questioned why it was allowed to escape.

“I believe it was an excuse [to say it was a Savannah cat]. If you look at the picture, it’s a cheetah,” he told the Daily Mail.

“There are crazy people. Somebody who’s influential or has money, he decides to have a cheetah and keep it in the house.”

It is understood the police have not yet found the cat’s owners.

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