The residents of an English seaside town were advised by police to stay indoors on Sunday, after officers received word that a lion or maybe just a cat was spotted in a field.

The BBC reports that "holidaymakers" (i.e. tourists) Bob and Denise Martin claim to have spotted a ferocious lion or possibly just a friendly cat at around 7:00p.m. Sunday, as they were unwinding from a long day at the holiday factory, picking tinsel and synthetic Easter grass out of their pockets.

According to Mrs. Martin's account, she and her husband shared a very intense, almost spiritual moment with the lion, which manifested itself, like its African ancestors, out of a cloud of smoke in a country field.

"I was looking out of the window and we saw smoke. When the smoke cleared I could see this shape in the field, so I got the binoculars out. We had a look and it looked like a lion. I said to my husband 'What do you make of that?' He said 'That's a lion.'

Mrs. Martin added that the lion "could obviously hear" her and her husband talking about how it was a lion, which was, to her, "a bit spooky." She also said its ears were "slightly wrong," which, RUDE.

"To start with we was convinced it was a lion but the shape of the ears is slightly wrong, but it was the size of a lion. It had a white chest with like a tan, beige-colour body."

Based on the Martins' description of a lion that is a cat, police in St. Osyth, Essex felt it necessary to warn people in the area to remain indoors, lest they cross paths with the fearsome smoke-dwelling beast.

To substantiate their claims, the Martins snapped a photo that does confirm an arrangement of brown-colored matter was present in the field at one point. After studying the picture, the bitchy director of a nearby zoo criticized the Martins' photography, calling it "of poor quality," and told them to return to the loft and pack their things because they had been eliminated.

"The photograph shows an animal in a field, it is a sandy brown colour, but the photography is of such poor quality it's not possible for us to say one way or the other what it definitely is."

The Colchester Zoo reported that all of its lions were present and accounted for. A visiting circus also confirmed that none of its lions were missing because it didn't have any lions.

Local business owner Dave Sparks told the BBC that some folks were afraid of the lion or cat and then were not.

"…a couple of families with young children were a bit worried but after a while they were okay."

By Monday afternoon, law enforcement officials reported that they still had not found any evidence of the smokebeast, such as pawprints or droppings or a portal to hell.

Police in helicopters continued to search for the lion or cat.

[BBC // Herald Series // Image via Clownhouse III/flickr]