Police in Milwaukee step up search for a so-called “lion” as more reports of big cat sightings continue to flood in.
Milwaukee has recently been under the watch of some kind of lion-like animal. Reports started pouring in from people over the last week claiming to have seen what appeared to be a young lion under bridges, climbing down hills, and walking between parked cars of densely populated areas.
A positive identification on the animal has yet to be achieved, but the city has nicknamed the cat the “Milwaukee Lion.” Police believe it is either a mountain lion, or worse: an illegally purchased African lion that has escaped from its owner.
Grainy footage shows the lion wondering behind a house earlier this week. It was captured by a resident of the 200 block of a East Garfield Avenue neighborhood.
The most recent sighting was at Lincoln Creek this past Saturday. Police responded in force to the park with rifle teams and swat units.
“She was walking down the hill sideways, putting her feet crossways,” said Herbert Ball who spotted the lion. “She was snooping down with her head, like she was fixing to attack somebody. The people over there were having a cookout and I ran over there to tell them there’s a cat coming their way. But what the cat did is change her mind- she went under the bridge and relaxed.”
The teams spread out and searched the area batting bushes and making lots of noise to try to draw it out with no success. Two officers reportedly saw the cat for a moment, but could not get a shot off on it.
Police have already ruled out the possibility of an escaped lion from the Milwaukee Zoo. They did a full count and enclosure inspection following the incident to assure the city it was not one of theirs. They posted this photo to their Twitter on Tuesday:
With the increased sightings of the lion the police have now stepped up their search. They have even closed off the sections of the city where the most sightings have occurred to avoid the possibility of an attack from the creature.
Their next step is to possibly call in big cat specialist to help track or trap the animal before anyone gets hurt by the animal.
For the most up-to-date sightings and news follow the Milwaukee Lion Twitter account @milwaukee_lion.