Police have issued a warning after reports of a black panther roaming near villages in Ayrshire.
Residents in Drongan and Coalhall were advised of the potential sighting of the big cat in fields near to the B730, which is situated between the two villages, on Friday.
Police called in a helicopter to try and locate the animal, but were unable to find it.
A big cat expert has been drafted in to help confirm the identity of the animal.
The Scottish SPCA were called to assist police, but said they were “unequipped” to deal with the search.
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Alistair Hill said: “We can confirm we have received reports regarding a possible panther sighting in Ayr.
“We have liaised with Police Scotland and informed them that we are unequipped to deal with such animals and therefore will not be involved in investigating the incident.”
Police posted a message on social media warning residents not to approach the animal.
It read: “The area is popular with dog walkers so care should be taken and if anyone sees the animal we would ask you not to approach it, but to contact police.”
They added that anyone who spots the beast can contact them on 101.