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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

An African Lion Filmed in California?

What could be an African lion or lioness was caught on film by a surveillance camera in Norwalk, California recently. The cat was filmed at 3:44 AM and was walking across a driveway.

Craig Packer, who is a professor at the University of Minnesota Lion Research Center and author of the book Into Africa looked at the footage and said that the animal in the video looks like a lion. "It's not a cougar." He said.

Experts at the San Diego Zoo also said that the animal does not look like a mountain lion, but did not say anything else.

A game warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that the animal looks like an old, large dog, possibly a pit bull. "There was nothing pointing towards 'mountain lion'." He said. It is not really suprising that he said the animal is a dog, because that usually happens when game wardens try to explain a report of a mystery cat, anywhere in the United States. The other animal experts also say that the cat was not o mountain lion, but that doesn't mean it has to be a pit bull.

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman posted about the story on his blog CryptoZooNews yesterday. He made freeze frames of the video that appear to show a mane on the animal.

So, what do you think? Is the animal in the video an African Lion, an escaped exotic pet, or just a dog? The animal could possibly be a surviving Panthera atrox, the American Lion. The American Lion lived in the Pleistocene epoch(.34 million to 11,000 years ago).

Reconstruction of the American Lion from Wikipedia

This possible lion is not alone. Other mystery cats, including black panthers, tigers, eastern cougars, and leopards are seen all over the United States, all the time. Loren Coleman wrote two very long chapters in his wonderful book Mysterious America. I also wrote a chapter about mystery cats and other out of place creatures in my book, Cryptid U.S., which I am now finishing up.

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