When he got home, was able to find an internet image to confirm the sort of cat he’d seen.
Next morning he went to the Oakland City Police Department, expecting the staff to laugh at him.
They weren't amused and they weren't surprised.
Seems he wasn’t the first to recently spot and report an African lion on the loose in their area. One report included an image of one captured via a trail cam. The property owner set it up to try and find out what was taking things in the night from their porch.
My nephew learned the animal he’d seen was a female African lion, approximately seven-months-old. Since his report, another sighting has been reported of an adult female African lion accompanied by an approximately seven-month-old cub.
The image below is for reference only. It isn’t an image taken by a local to be included in any police reports.
Image via danzigdesigns of Pixabay. Click here to view their gallery.
I did a short bit of research before writing this, to see if any other local news platforms had generated information on these big cats, but I didn’t find a single article. I think it’s important for local bloggers and newspapers to consider putting the information out there, just so folks know to be giving a little extra attention to their surroundings, for things out of the ordinary.
Once upon a time, near Ruther Glenn, Virginia, I took a short stroll to my sister’s house. A woods separated her property from our folks’ property. I thought a dog was pacing me just inside the woodline, where it was too dark and thickly tangled with underbrush for me to see it clearly.
I shouted for it to go home and even threw a small stick at the woodline to shoo it away from me, and encourage it to play elsewhere, away from the road.
To my surprise, when I cleared the woodline, made it past the large yard and began heading down my sister’s driveway, I was finally able to see just inside the woods bordering her lawn. What I thought was a dog was nearly chest high, with emerald-green eyes, nearly as large as my hands.
Once I realized I was looking at a creature I’d previously seen only on television, in movies and zoos, I was kicking up gravel and hauling myself as fast as I could to my sister’s steps and landing. She was there waiting with the door open, shouting for me to run fast and get inside quick.
I learned the dog, was a fully-grown black panther, measuring eight-feet from nose to tail. Big teeth. Big claws. Big paws. You get the picture.
Had it already been reported to authorities?
Did the police department, wildlife, fish and gameries staff broadcast information on it, ensuring as many locals as possible were aware of it?
Many locals did know about it, though. It'd been making rounds through and around our forestland housing and parks area called Caroline Pines. Caroline Pines was about an hour from Richmond, and an hour and a half from Washington D.C. It was remote and literally, in the sticks.
Why had no one mentioned the panther to me?
‘Cause I worked crazy hours, often coming home late at night, and they didn’t want me to panic.
So there ya go. If you’re out and about in Southern Indiana, stay vigilant. Bobcats panthers and cougars have new kin folk in the area. They’re likely to consider cyclists, joggers, hikers, family pets and livestock to be fast food, a main course, or a small snack.
I need a bit more research time and then I’ll tell about the local rattlesnake release to help control the wild turkey population.
Right ... again...
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