Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting GAZETTE NEWS to 80360, or email
Colchester Zoo targeted by spoof advert
Colchester Zoo has been targeted by a spoof advert because of its experts’ involvement in the hunt for the Essex lion.
Armed zoo workers were involved in a the high profile search for the wild animal last week, which turned out to be a domestic cat.
The mock advert, which has been shared thousands of times on social networking sites, shows pictures of puppies as wolves, an earth worm as a snake a ginger cat as a ‘lion’, with the slogan ‘let your imagination run wild’
But Anthony Tropeano, Colchester Zoo director, said the spoofs are just harmless fun.
“From our point of view, it’s just a bit of fun,” he said.
“I suppose, looking at in the cold light of day, it is keeping us in the public eye, which is good for the zoo.”
Mr Tropeano was called at about 7pm on Sunday, August 26, when holiday makers first reported seeing a lion in a field, off Earls Hall Farm, in St Osyth.
“The photos we were shown were so indistinct and we said, from what we saw, we could rule nothing in or nothing out,” he said.
“The immediate reaction is that this could not be a lion.”
He also said after seeing a second set of photos, later on that night, he told police he was certain the image was not of a lion.
“You could tell from that set this was not a lion, but other than that, I just had no idea what it was.”
He added: “The police were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.
“They had eye witnesses telling them they had seen a lion through binoculars and others saying they had heard a roar.
“I don’t think they could have done anything different.”
The ‘advert’ was released on Facebook on Tuesday, August 28, by artist Lizi Angel, who lives in Oxfordshire.
She said: “I just thought it would give my own friends a bit of a laugh but then I realised it had been shared thousands of times.
“It’s only a bit of a laugh but you would think zoo experts would know what I a lion looked like.”