The Lion Of Nottingham

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 4th, 2008


Why did the Maned Mystery Cat cross the road in front of the bus? Obviously, to get to the other side.

It was bound to happen. After all those years of my gathering accounts of “Maned Mystery Cats” that look like African lions in North America, now comes word of one from the United Kingdom. Are there escaped mundane lions afoot in the Nottingham forests, or are these sighted animals in the UK of Panthera atrox (above), as noted in-depth in Mysterious America?

The newspaper, the Retford Trader and Guardian published a wee notice on February 25, 2008, that an unusual sighting had occurred at Retford on Saturday, January 26, 2008, at 7:30 pm.

Retford is a market town in Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands of England, located 31 miles from the county town of Nottingham. The highly unusual coat of arms for the town consists of two rampant choughs (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), members of the crow family.

retford coat of arms

A bus driver on Hallcroft Road had the sighting of a “male lion” as it crossed the road in front of him, turned to the bus and its headlight, and then moved on.

The police said the man reported the animal looked “like a lion with a black mane.”

No further sightings were reported at the time and none have been received in the month since.

In the mid-1990s, various reports surfaced of a big cat in the Clumber Park area.


In the foreground is a sub-Saharan African Lion (Panthera leo). The background felid is a representation of the American Lion (Panthera atrox).

Thanks to Michael Newton for bringing the initial news item to my attention.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

4 Responses to “The Lion Of Nottingham”

  1. cryptidsrus responds:

    Cool report.

    Black mane?


  2. nick_beyondthetree responds:

    This is quite interesting. Being from the UK, I must say that a Lion-esque ABC sighting is very unusual. In fact, I’m hard pushed to think of another one off the top of my head.
    The black mane is very interesting. I know some lions have darker manes, almost dark brown.
    Of course, maybe it was just a very big poodle on his way back from the barbers.

  3. cryp-23 responds:

    I did some reserch on black-maned lions and a site came up on Ethiopian and Abyssinian black-maned lions it talks about black-maned lion trade with england.

    check it out

  4. kittybetts responds:

    This is very interesting as I saw something simular to this yesterday at Brierley Forest Park (near Stanton Hill). It looked like a lioness and was running quite fast up the hill. My partner has also had sightings at the same place but he saw a black partner walk out in front off him going across the path. I was wondering if any one else has had sightings there and if so I would like them to email me please.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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