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Illegal pet black panther seen on rooftops in French town

A black panther has been spotted prowling the rooftops of a town in France, after it reportedly escaped from its home while its owner was on holiday.

Stunned locals gathered below to catch a sight of the young panther, which was reportedly being kept as an illegal pet in a home in the French town of Armentieres, near Lille, in the north of the country.

The panther, which wildlife experts suspect is about six months old, is believed to have escaped through an open window, before being seen on the terrace roofs about 6pm on Wednesday, local time.

The panther was seen wandering along the rooftops and guttering of houses in the city for almost an hour.

A small crowd gathered to watch the panther on the street below, with one neighbour saying “She is beautiful, wonderful to see in real life.”

After being spotted, police officers and National Wildlife Conservation Authorities worked together to contain the animal, establishing a security perimeters around the building.

Officers feared the animal would become spooked and jump from the rooftop, but according to La Voix Du Nord, the animal remained calm, wandering back and forth along the rooftops.

Intermittently the panther would stop to stare at a domestic cat, or listen as a train went by.

The panther was eventually able to be contained when it walked inside one of the homes which had an open window. Firefighters outside the building blocked off the window with a ladder, while inside, wildlife experts were able to tranquillise the panther, according to Agence France-Presse.

The panther, believed to be a young female black leopard, was then taken away by the French animal protection league, and the following day transferred to a zoological park, according to a report from Euro News.

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