POLICE were called to track down a big cat for the second time in a week – but it again turned out to be an ordinary pet.

Officers were called to Thameside Junior and Infant school, in Manor Road, Grays, after builder Graham Bowers, 61, said he had seen a possible lion cub sunning itself on the school bins.

It was feared it could be the mystery north Essex lion that was reportedly seen by holidaymakers at a caravan park in St Osyth, near Clacton, on Sunday night.

But Thameside headteacher Christina Pumfrey told police the cat was nothing out of the ordinary and was just the school’s resident moggy.

She said: “A very nice police officer turned up at the school and explained they’d had reports of a lion on the premises.

“We weren’t worried because we knew the sighting in Clacton had turned out to be nothing.

“The officer was very calm and professional, and told us he had been involved in the Clacton search.

“He did a search of the school grounds and found a normal domestic cat – it was definitely not a lion.

“We know the cat in question – it’s always around the school and is no bigger than a normal cat.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were contacted at 8am on Tuesday following reports a large cat had been spotted.

“Officers arrived and found a large domestic cat.

“Words of advice were issued to the informant.”