According to the Journal Sentinel, some kind of “lion-like” animal is prowling the streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has been since last week. It hasn’t eaten anybody yet, as far as we know, but on Thursday somebody panicked and shot a dog. Reuters reports that the dog is going to be okay.
Deputy Inspector Steve Basting said Saturday night that the confirmed sighting was by a Milwaukee police officer about 7:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Creek area. He said the officer saw a “lion-like” creature that disappeared into a wooded area.
Basting said police had cordoned off several blocks along the creek to keep people away. Then they waited for daylight and the DNR.
“We are not prepared to be beating the bush for a lion in the dark,” he said Saturday night.
Earlier this week, the Department of Natural Resources expressed skepticism that the lion existed at all. “It’s unlikely that we would see cougars move this far into the city,” Dianne Robinson, a wildlife biologist with the DNR, told the Journal Sentinel.
But, early Sunday morning, there was another sighting.
“From my understanding, it was a 100% confirmation that it was a lion-like animal. They know it`s a cat-like animal—could be a young African lion or could be a mature mountain lion/cougar species. Unfortunately we weren’t able to keep visibility on it long. It went into some thick vegetation,” Milwaukee Police Department Lieutenant Paul Formolo said at a press conference, according to Fox 6 Now. “We were trying to flush it out in an area that was advantageous for us.”
A zoologist who has been assisted with the search said the lion was probably stressed. “The information we’re getting is the animal is stressed. It’s frightened—so it could just bed down and not move or it’s slipped through our containment and trying to stay away from us,” Formolo said.
Formolo asked the public to be safe. “I highly recommend that until we get a final disposition of this animal—to keep their children out of the vegetation and creek area,” he said.