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Lion Watch In Milwaukee, Police Chief: "The zoo has accounted for all its lions"

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As far as the Milwaukee Police Department knows, the big cat is still at large. 

Alderwoman Milele Coggs released a statement on Wednesday saying, "The case is being handled by Milwaukee police and is still active – the sighting has not been cleared and the information provided by witnesses has not been determined to be unfounded."

If you do spot the animal, call 911 - don't try to capture it or take matters into your own hands.

There have been multiple sightings of the big cat this week. And on Tuesday night, a man fired a shot at what he thought was a lion, and rather shot and injured a dog, reports FOX6 News.

The Milwaukee lion saga began on Monday. When what was described as a lion was first sighted near the 200 block of E. Garfield Avenue. Several neighbors say they saw the strange beast. One onlooker was even able to capture a grainy cell phone video. Most of the neighbors agreed that what they saw was indeed a lion.

According to a press release from the Milwaukee Police Department, officers searched the north side for the lion for several hours. Chief Edward Flynn says his agency is taking the reports of a lionish creature seriously, because wild animals sometimes make their way into urban areas.

"We've notified the DNR. We've notified the zoo. The zoo has accounted for all its lions. Certainly, it's conceivable something may have wandered down here from upstate, following the deer population," Flynn said.

On Wednesday, Milwaukee police Lt. Mark Stanmeyer released a statement saying, "For the past three days, MPD has received calls from concerned citizens who reportedly have seen a lion. Each time a call is received, officers are sent to investigate and have found nothing. "

There are two ideas surrounding how a lion could possibly make its way into such an urban part of Milwaukee. The first theory is that it may have been bought through the exotic pet trade. Thousands of illegal, exotic pets make their way to the United States through black markets and auctions. It is possible someone procured a lion and had been keeping it in their home secretly.

But many people think the lion is a different breed of big cat. There have been several confirmed cougar sightings throughout Wisconsin in the past few years according the DNR. It is possible, although not likely, that a panther wandered as far south as Milwaukee.

The lion has gained so much social media traction, it has its own twitter account.

It has also received national media attention, with local businesses and services getting in on the craze as well.

 

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