The shock news has been met with pranks, pleasantries and parodies online.
When Police Scotland told residents in Drongan and Coalhall not to approach a black panther said to be loose in the area, their warning sparked a wave of social media pranks, parodies and jokes.
A hoax started by Robbie Brown on Facebook tricked some users by using a black cut-out of the looming predator and placing it in various spots in a field.
His prank nearly sent more gullible people into a frenzy, with some telling friends and family to beware the big cat.
With officers still on the lookout for the real panther, a parody account was made to taunt local police with playful messages.
“You will never catch me… I have already moved from this area,” the parody panther account wrote, before suggesting its next location could be politically motivated.
“Heard good things about high tea at @TrumpTurnberry but it’s only for ‘Fat Cats’.”
“This just in .. made it to Ayr. Where’s best for chips?” they added.
Many Twitter users were quick to point out the dramatic reaction to similar incidents in the past, which made them sceptical of heeding the calls made to the police this morning.
“Bet ye the black panther runnin aboot Drongan is some wee grans black cat that’s been pumped full a roids n let loose,” wrote one in reaction to the surprising news.
“There is not a black panther roaming around goddamned Scotland,” said another defiant Twitter user.
Others used the recent box-office hit Black Panther to create Photoshopped images and gifs depicting the film’s hero as the mysterious creature loose in Ayrshire.
Comedy account Angry Britain wrote: “Breaking: There’s a Black Panther on the loose in #Ayrshire.”
One film fan, David Muscat declared: “Black Panther spotted in Ayrshire… SPREAD IT”
“SIR Nick Clegg off to work for Facebook; a black panther spotted in Ayrshire and Jermaine Pennant appears on The Jeremy Kyle Show. Today has been weird,” commented one Twitter user, who was clearly overwhelmed by the wild variety of news he’d heard throughout the day.
Finally, many couldn’t resist the chance to show off their puns and jokes, with Radio Clyde tweeting: “#Ayrshire Police say they’re trying to catch the ‘purrpetrator’ after reports of a black panther sighting in #Drongan and #Coalhall this morning.”
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