A WOLF which escaped from a sanctuary in Beenham has been captured.
Thames Valley Police confirmed at 1.40pm that the wolf had been safely detained by officers and staff from the sanctuary.
Thank you to everyone in the community for your patience and understanding while we were dealing with the incident.— Thames Valley Police (@ThamesVP) January 18, 2018
Schools, which were asked to keep pupils indoors, no longer need to do this.
A mother from Newbury had a close encounter with the animal as she was dropping her daughter off in Cold Ash.
Lucy Williams told NewburyToday: "I was coming out of Bucklebury when I saw the wolf about 30 yards from my car.
"I wasn't scared. I gathered it was from the Wolf Conservation Trust at Beenham. It was all very exciting.
Mrs Williams took this fantastic picture of the animal passing her.
And these exclusive photographs, taken by NWN photographer Phil Cannings, show the pursuit of the animal.
The wolf was spotted by Olly Warner and his colleague who were working on farmland in Cold Ash at around 10am.
The 21-year-old told NewburyToday: "I was down in the woods planting trees when I saw Mike running up the hill.
"He said 'there's a wolf out and we have to leave the wood, come on!'
"We got out a bit quick."
Mr Warner said that police on the scene had told him that they had been tracking the animal for 30 to 40 minutes at the time that he reported it.
A police helicopter was dispatched to help locate the animal, which lead officers on a chase through the West Berkshire countryside.
Armed officers and special animal teams were called in to try and tranquillise the loose animal.
The pursuit team then dashed to Hermitage Road after the wolf had been spotted on land belonging to Downe House School.
The police chopper next moved to circle dense woodland between Curridge and Cold Ash.
Staff at Dallas Autos in Long Lane told NewburyToday that they had seen the wolf jump over a 4ft fenceline close to their property before running up into the woodland.
A police spotter was stationed on the edge of the woodland as the helicopter circled overhead, as alarms from the private girls school could be heard in the distance.
Officers had also set up lookout positions in the Red Shute Hill industrial estate and peoples' properties as they tried to flush the animal out.
The wolf was last spotted close to Curridge Primary School at 1pm.
Wolf on the loose in Curridge: A wolf missing from the Wolf Conservation Trust has been spotted in Curridge this lunchtime. Police are in pursuit. Do not approach and keep children and animals indoors if possible.— Curridge Village (@CurridgeVillage) January 18, 2018
Two Pcsos were stationed outside the school and the police helicopter was hovering directly above the school when NewburyToday arrived.
London's police helicopter tweeted the following this afternoon.
Assisting @ThamesVP and other NPAS colleagues search for an escaped wolf! Located & tracked by us using thermal imagery... safely captured without injury to the public or the animal #TeamA ^413 pic.twitter.com/A8PjK51pr2— NPAS London (@NPASLondon) 18 January 2018