Police closed off streets near a park in north Milwaukee on Saturday night after reports of a “lion-like animal,” which came days after people said they had a seen a lion prowling city streets.
Milwaukee police and the Department of Natural Resources responded to the area, at 30th and Fairmont streets, for what a police statement called “a confirmed sighting of a lion-like animal.”
The animal was not located, it added, but police would maintain a presence throughout the night. Local residents reported earlier on Saturday they had seen a lion and her cub in a creek in the park.
“I … said ‘Let’s go see it in person’,” said Tracie Jackson, 53, an off-duty Milwaukee police officer who drove from her home about five minutes away.
About 15 people gathered by the park, where the streets were closed off by police tape, hoping for a sighting.
On Tuesday a white pit bull dog was shot in the paw after apparently having been mistaken for the lion reported to have been prowling city streets. It was expected to fully recover.
The shooting followed a Monday telephone call to police from a woman who reported seeing a lion in her neighborhood. A cell phone video clip surfaced hours later showing a blurry image of a large cat-like animal strolling about, heightening fears and speculation.
Police subsequently received dozens of calls reporting lion sightings. The Milwaukee Zoo said via Twitter that all its lions were accounted for.
(Writing by Chris Michaud)
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