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Sometimes An African Lion Is Only A Panthera leo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 22nd, 2007

According to a report from WSAZ NewsChannel 3, on November 19, 2007, Monday of this week, there was an “African Lion on the Loose in Ohio.”

Motorist driving in the area of US 23 near Wakefield, in Pike County, Ohio, saw an African lion chasing their vehicles.

However, in this case, law enforcement officers caught the lion, “Lambert,” and returned him to its owner. The lion was a bona fide escaped pet.

NewsChannel 3 calmly commented: “Ohio does not currently require a permit for exotic animals. The lion was contained and unharmed, but the whole ordeal is still under investigation.”

It is doubtful this episode has anything to do with the recent West Virginia sightings, however, because this Ohio story was a brief escape and a time-limited event. Still, interestingly, this media account ranks up there in high-powered number-name game content (e.g. “23,” “Pike,” and “Lambert”).

Thanks to kittenz, appropriately, for passing along this story. It was the cat’s meow.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


7 Responses to “Sometimes An African Lion Is Only A Panthera leo”

  1. mystery_man responds:

    Well, the story is useful in that it shows that escaped exotics are a perfectly reasonable explanation for some mystery big cat reports. It also says something about witness credibility and shows that people reporting something they witnessed CAN be relied upon to give an accurate description of what they saw. Sometimes when someone says they saw a lion, that is what they actually saw. If they see an orangutan in a tree, that is what they saw. If this “Lambert” fellow was an exotic, then perhaps that is what is causing the West Virginia sightings too and maybe the people seeing it are not misidentifying, of say, a squirrel for a lion.

  2. Ceroill responds:

    Well said, MM.

  3. red_pill_junkie responds:

    … A lion, named LAMBert?

    Sheeeeesh!

  4. showme responds:

    It refers to the old cartoon, “Lambert, the Sheepish Lion.”

  5. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Hey! now I remember. Thanks for the hint Showme! :-)

    http://www.pistolwimp.com/media/62031/

  6. kittenz responds:

    Yeah, I was watching my local news at 6pm the other night, and there was the anchorman, nonchalantly reporting the story of an escaped lion chasing cars as though it happened every day. I was flabbergasted at the idea of just driving along the interstate and seeing a full grown lion chasing cars like a big dog. LOL.

    It’s not really all that funny though. The lion could have been killed or injured, or worse yet, can you imagine someone on a motorcycle slowing down for a closer look, and being attacked?

    Pike County, OH, is in the extreme southeastern part of that state, very near the borders with Kentucky and West Virginia (the border being the Ohio River itself). The laws in Ohio regulating exotic pets are so lax as to be nearly nonexistant. I am not sure what kind of laws West Virginia has. Kentucky recently enacted very tough legislation making private ownership of exotic cats illegal (although those that were already here were grandfathered in, provided their owners met the regulations for their housing and care).

    I do not think that this particular lion is the one that generated last month’s West Virginia sightings; this incident happened too far from where those previous sightings occurred. But I’ll bet that there really is (or was) a lion running loose there in West Virginia. Maybe its owner enticed it back home and then kept his or her mouth shut.

    I agree, mystery_man, this story illustrates that incredible sightings CAN be true events … and that exotic cats do indeed escape and generate sightings from time to time.

  7. curious86 responds:

    Hasn’t anyone noticed that over time there have been increasing reports of “escaped” lions not only through out North America, but South America as well. What are the odds that all of these are escaped pets or zoo animals. And how many people over the entire Western Hemisphere are gonna continue misidentifying known animals for lions? All I’m saying is, if there isn’t a population existing somewhere, be they prehistoric relics or a group of escapees that have rooted themselves here somehow, then something is going on here. There has got to be a good explanation for all these lion sightings.



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