An unidentified man from Milwaukee shot a large pit bull after mistaking it for a lion on Tuesday night.
Residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have been “amped up or afraid” after dozens reported sighting a lion loose around town. Yahoo! News shared that police have responded to sightings of the now-infamous “Milwaukee lion,” but have failed to find any trace of the alleged beast. The escalated sense of worry seems to have played into the shooting of the pit bull.
The “Milwaukee lion” was first reported on Monday and quickly made its way into the national news. Fox 6 Now reported that police officials are taking the reports seriously and sending officers out to all sightings. Although nothing has been found to substantiate the claims, Chief Ed Flynn would rather play it safe than to be sorry later.
The unidentified man that shot the pit bull on Wednesday claims he believed the dog to be the Milwaukee lion, and would not have shot otherwise. The dog is now in the care of the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission, or MADACC, and suffered only a fractured bone in its leg. Karen Sparapani, executive director of MADACC, shared that she believes the man and does not find him at fault for harming the animal under the circumstances.
“Obviously the person who shot this thought they shot a lion. People tend to be amped up or afraid.”
Despite the minor injuries to the dog, Sparapanu warned that individuals should contact the police before shooting at the Milwaukee lion.
“Certainly we don’t want any resident discharging a firearm in the city limits ever — certainly shooting something moving, because often you’re following it and you hit something you did not intend to hit.”
Video of the Milwaukee lion has been released, showing what seems to be a large cat, although the image cannot be completely verified.
Animal control officers with MADACC are on standby in case the lion is found and have tranquilizer guns ready to assist in capturing the creature.
Alderwoman Milele Coggs released a memo to reassure residents that the case is being monitored.
“The sighting and recorded video footage of a large cat in the Brewers Hill neighborhood in the 6th District on Sunday has become national news and is now daily fodder on social media and in neighborhood conversations across the city.
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.”
She has also warned parents to monitor children and pets when outside, as a precaution.
[Photo by Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Entertainment]