African Lion Loose In Eastern El Paso County
Photos Taken, Tracks Found
POSTED: 9:45 am MDT July 14, 2008
UPDATED: 1:51 pm MDT July 14, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — El Paso County deputies are looking for an African lion on the loose in the eastern part of the county.
Sheriff's Lt. Lari Sevene said the first call came in of large cat chasing several dogs through a field off of Log Road. That call came in at 7:35 a.m. The resident told deputies the cat had a red mane and a big tail. Officers obtained a photo of the big cat.
A second sighting was reported after the first and a second resident also took a picture of the lion.
A reverse-911 alert went out to residents in the Falcon Highway and Log Road area to let them know about the animal. A second call will go out when the coast is clear.
State wildlife officers found tracks of the lion, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Michael Seraphin, of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, told the Gazette that the two photos taken by residents and tracks found by DOW officers confirm the animal is an African lion and not a mountain lion. Big Cats of Serenity Springs, a sanctuary that houses lions, tigers, leopards and other animals about 5 miles away, told 7NEWS that none of its cats are missing and they have checked several times. A spokesman said he believes the lion is someone's pet that got loose. Imported and exotic species brought into Colorado are regulated. Some are legal with permits; some are prohibited. The area where the lion was spotted in sparsley populated, with pockets of mobile homes and livestock. The search was focusing on a field about a mile and a half square. "We figure he's probably just taking a nap right now," said Sheriff's Lt. Lari Sevene. Anyone who sees the lion is asked to call the El Paso County Sheriff's Office at 719-390-5555. The animal was last spotted around 10 a.m., about a mile southwest of the original sighting. Officials are waiting for a police helicopter to search from the air. If you have taken a picture of the lion, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
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