Reports of a panther-like animal attacking sheep were yesterday being investigated by police.
A visitor to Worcestershire contacted officers to report a "large black animal" he heard making "strange noises" and saw targeting a flock in Broadway Tower in the south of the county.
The man told police he was confident the animal was not a dog or a fox and described it as being more like a panther.
West Mercia Police said it had dealt with a similar incident earlier this year when a member of the public reported a lynx-like cat being sighted in Evesham.
The chief warden at West Midlands Safari Park was contacted about the incident and reassured residents that despite many such reports of "large cats" in the South Worcestershire area over the years, none had been properly authenticated.
Speaking about the most recent sighting, a force spokesman said: "It's good that we have this expert advice available as a reassurance for members of the community and to be aware that, if this animal was to prove to be a large cat-like animal, it's first and natural reaction almost certainly would be to run away from people.
"Nevertheless we stress that no-one should attempt to approach the animal."