THE ‘black panther’ saga which has gripped several towns in Granada for a week is alleged to have been solved by a professional photographer.

Freelance snapper Alfonso Azaustre shared several pictures of a large black cat today, which he took 500 metres from the town of Ventas de Huelma, where the ‘sightings’ began last Friday.

But while the cat is black and appears large and well fed, it doesn’t quite fall into the category of a panther.

“I had it in front of me, about 30 metres away, it was large but I do not think it is a panther,” said Azaustre, who believes the animal is rather a large dark cat, reported Efe.

It comes after a week-long search by Guardia Civil and Seprona involving aircraft and thermal cameras.

Authorities have so far been unable to identify the animal and be 100% sure that it is not a panther.

Guardia Civil told Efe today the search will continue until the cat can be identified.

They believe to be closing in on the feline and a trap has been laid, police said.

There are no plans to hurt the cat, with the city council saying it wants a ‘happy ending’ in ‘every way possible.’

“We fully trust those in charge of the search (Seprona), who are treating it with extreme delicacy and sensitivity, prioritising the protection of both the population and the animals,” said a spokesperson.

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