Residents of Finchingfield and Cornish Hall End are on the look out after a suspected black panther was spotted in the area.
Finchingfield resident, Jennie Moon, 33, reported seeing the beast at the Finchingfield Equestrian Centre on August 1.
Local councillor, Alison Stanger, however, said: “We cannot confirm anything at the moment.
“It’s a little worrying, though. Hopefully, we will all be safe and sound.”
Essex police said they have not had any reports of the incident made to them.
A spokesperson from nearby Linton Zoo reassured members of the public that they have had no escaped animals and that it is unlikely a black panther would pose a threat to humans.
“Our black panther has moved down to Exmoor and is in an enclosure with his girlfriend,” said the spokesperson. “Theoretically, a panther could survive in this area but there would be more obvious signs like carcasses.
“When they attack prey like sheep, they would leave a great deal of it behind.
“They are not really a danger to the public. If there is one there at all, it will be a lot more scared of humans than they will be of it.”