Photo: Screen shot from cellphone video of possible Milwaukee lion.
No, it isn’t beer. There is something else brewing in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It has residents scared, and gun owners prepping their trigger finger. Welcome to the Summer 2015 blockbuster…the legend of the Milwaukee Lion.
Is there really a Milwaukee Lion on the loose? There might be. Starting on Monday, multiple people have claimed to see a lion or a “large cat like” animal roaming the streets.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn is saying his department is taking the matter of a “lionish creature” seriously. Each time, they’ve gotten a call about a sighting of the Milwaukee Lion, they have responded to the scene. No proof.
Annie Nolan is a resident who spotted the animal. She told WKOW-TV, “I was afraid to move. “I was sitting there and I couldn’t move. I thought, ‘What am I looking at?'”
On Monday, Kelly Brooks found a large, strange footprint in his yard. It was nothing compared to the call he got from a neighbor. She told him, “Hey Kelly, don’t go in your backyard. It’s a big animal back there and it looks like a lion.”
Brooks admits he thought it may be the neighbor pulling his paw at first. Then, he saw the woman’s video shot with her cell phone.
By far, the video is what has created the loudest roar about the possibility of a Milwaukee Lion. It’s gotten the attention of police, wildlife, officials, and the public.
This isn’t like the Loch Ness Monster or an alien abduction. Chicago had a big cat turn up in the city a few years ago. Philadelphia also had a longstanding series of cougar sightings a few years back. As for Wisconsin, the mountain lion or cougar is actually native there. Last fall, the state’s Department of Natural Resources spotted a pair of cougars in Northern Wisconsin. Did the Milwaukee Lion or a similar animal happen to wander down into the big city to go food shopping?
One expert doesn’t believe so.
Jill Carnegie runs a home for dozens of exotic felines called “Valley of the Kings.” She is sure of what she sees in the video and screenshot of the so-called Milwaukee Lion. “I feel very confident it is a male cougar. You tell by the size. It’s a very well-fed cougar,” Carnegie told Fox6. “I believe truly that it is somebody’s pet.”
Whether it’s a real lion or real people lyin’ the big cat is trending. It already has a Twitter account: @Milwaukee_Lion. Plus the hashtag: #MKElion
Officials say attacks by mountain lions or cougars are extremely rare. Still, if you do see it you are urged not to approach it but rather call the Milwaukee Police right away. Tuesday night, a man thought he was shooting the Milwaukee Lion. He wound up putting a bullet into the right leg of a stray pit bull. If you were in a matter of hunting or self-defense, an AR-15 would be preferable over a 1911 firearm. Don’t you think?
Domesticated or not, accuracy and added distance creates safety any time you could be a little snack for a big cat.