Police in Norwich have made an unusual appeal - for people who spotted a panther-like creature roaming close to Norfolk County Council’s headquarters.

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Norwich police took to social media site Twitter today to make the appeal. They said: “We had a report of a large cat, possibly a panther prowling around yesterday near Martineau Lane! Anyone see anything similar?!”

Police said they had received the report from a member of staff at Norwich Camping and Caravan Club in Martineau Lane.

A police spokeswoman said the person who reported the sighting said they had also found a dead Muntjac deer close to the campsite.

She said officers had headed to the site, but had not found anything, so took to Twitter to appeal for other sightings.

It is far from the first alleged sighting of a big cat in Norfolk. There have been more than 80 such calls to Norfolk Constabulary since 2006, including sightings of a puma half a mile away from Tesco in Thetford and a lion “bounding” across a fiel in Toftwood, Dereham.

But on the 10 occasions officers have attended, the reality has not lived up to the account of the 999 caller.

Police were dispatched to a street in Norwich in February 2011 after it was reported a tiger was thought to be lying between two cars in the road.

This call followed a sighting in May 2010 of a “very large striped cat” resembling a tiger sitting in the road in Bradwell in May 2010.

Both “tigers” turned out to be stuffed toys.

• Did you spot the Martineau Lane big cat? Email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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