Jul 28 2015

In Milwaukee – The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Is a lion loose in Milwaukee?

Kay Nolan, Julie Bosman – NYT

MILWAUKEE – One man saw the creature for only a few bone-chilling seconds, but he remembers that it was big, with heavy brown fur and a long tail, and not in any particular hurry as it walked through his neighborhood in Milwaukee and then disappeared into a thickly wooded ravine.

It could be a young African lion that was purchased on the open market, kept as a pet and then released when it became too large to handle, one wildlife expert speculated. (Wisconsin state law is notably relaxed on the possession of exotic animals.) Or it could be a cougar, an animal that has been spotted more frequently in populated areas of the Midwest in recent years. The Milwaukee County Zoo announced last week that all of its lions were safe and accounted for.

Jeff Kozlowski, owner of the Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue in Rock Springs, Wis., said that if that was the case, there was little hope of finding the person who lost control of the animal. “If you had a pet lion and it got out and it was causing this much uproar,” he said dryly, “would you call in and say it was yours?”

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