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July 15, 2008

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African Lion Loose In Colorado?

It appeared likely when photos taken by two Colorado Springs residents and tracks found by state Division of Wildlife officers seemed to confirm that the animal is an African lion and not a cougar. There’s some doubt now, however, as the El Paso County Sheriff's Office has suspended the search, saying there isn't enough evidence to corroborate reports of an African lion—with a red mane and big tail—roaming the plains east of Colorado Springs, according to The Gazette.


Evan V

I think someone would notice if a lion was missing from the zoo.


The funniest part of that whole story is how residents were on horse back with lassos! That made me laugh out loud!



You would think a horse would be afraid of a lion. But comical yes!



Comical yes!


Mike Diehl

The article says that local G&F confirm that it is a feral African lion. The mystery to me is why they're not after it with hounds. Maybe it's a hoax, but if it is not, then there is a very compelling reason for people in the area to go around well heeled. And I'm not talking about shoes.

Lion Guy

I think the Colorado Division of Wildlife is introducing lions as way of managing the current poaching problem. Might work.

Blue Ox

Ok, so it seems there are two groups of people over by there. Notice how the smart ones simply armed themselves.
Then there's the other group, a bunch of dumbass wanna-be cowboys ridin' around on horses thinking they're gonna go out and rope a lion.
Hello?! It's an effing LION!
Damn, this is almost as good as that drunk asswipe in Florida who went swimmin' with the gators (on a $30 bet) and got his arm bit off a few weeks back.
For starters, the only way you're gonna get close enough to lasso a lion is if he's charging straight at you. Can we say 'Meow Mix'?
Now let's say by some dumb miracle that you actually manage to thow a rope on this beast.
Now what?
Do you think he's gonna hold still for ya? Let you hog-tie him? Not in a millon years.
That lion would laugh, and then rip you to pieces. Probably shred the horse, too. The lion would feast on your carcass just for you having the temerity to offend him with such a silly idea, and then bound off into the sunset.
Later on, I would show up and plant a tiny flag in the pile of lion turds.
That little flag would have one word:

Floggings and flatulence for ANYONE who mistakes a lion for a large dog.

jersey pig

so just how does one misplace a lion? i doubt it migrated and i would think you'd want to post a flier or 2 in case it turns up.....


When I lived in FL, we had a a few lions that were privately own escape from time to time.this might be the case.And if the owner did not register the animal they might not be so quick to report it missing.

Jackson Landers

Evan V.,

It would be a terrible mistake for you to believe that the only lions in America or even in Colorado are in public zoos. I do not have figures for African lions, but I do know that according to Fish & Wildlife, there are about 10,000 tigers in the United States and only a small fraction of those animals are in zoos.

That figure only represents those which are possessed by people with licenses for those exotic, dangerous animals. There is also a huge trade in exotic big cats among cat fanciers who couldn't be troubled to get a permit.

Escapes happen more often than you would think. Go look at website for owners of pet lynxes and cougars and you will find FAQs on what to do when your big cat gets loose.

What would you do if you had an unlicensed Africa lion that you'd kept on your remote estate when it escaped? If you sound the alarm and call the police, you're effectively confessing to a federal crime and will quickly be visited by the nice men from Fish and Wildlife, who will arrest you and see about putting you in prison.

So from time to time, animals like this escape from unlicensed owners who don't want to deal with the legal hassles and they just keep mum. Considering the HUGE number of big exotic cats in private hands in the US, I'd be more surprised if we didn't have lion scares like this from time to time.


Blue Ox,
Great comment. That same scenario played out in my head when I thought about the weekend cowboys trying to wrangle a lion with a lasso. That still makes me laugh. God, why can't ABC or Fox come up with a show that had competitions like that! Next week watch as our contestants try to delouse a Puma!

Matt M

There is no reason for a private citizen to own an animal like this. The entire exotic pet trade needs to be banned.

Ed J

Change the word animal to gun. Then tell me if you agree with your own statement.


Matt, I agree with you.
EdJ, you are a fool. If you and your family were hiking and one of you was attacked by an escaped exotic and the life of that person was in jeopardy would you tell someone with a gun that was going to save your life not to shoot? Foolish


Wild animals are just that,WILD! They should not be a pet. exotic pet owners take these animals that are used to roaming vast expanses of land and cage them to be able to say they have a wild animal. Everybody wants to put the blame on the animals. THEY DID NOT ASK TO BE A CAPTURED ANIMAL. Let things go as planned in nature. We hunt to thin herds because people encroach on their land. Hunting serves a useful purpose where owning a lion or tiger or cobra or python does not. Too many exotic animals are being released into the wild where they don't belong by these pet owners and these pets are doing damage and threatening lives. Here in Florida we have two that are on the top of the list. Large exotic snakes which people release into the Everglades and are growing in numbers and moving North. And The Lionfish which people release into the Atlantic and they are growing in numbers and destroying living reefs and Moving North.
So, if your child, wife, grandchild, etcetera is in the ocean and dies from the poison of the lion fish or is attacked by a python or boa and is killed, then blame the person or yourself for not taking a stand against exotic pet ownership.

Ed J


Where in my statement or Matt M's statement do I say not to defend my self or those with me?
My point was watch what you want banned. You may know that your hobby is safe if you pratice good safety. Your neighber may not agree with you.

Ed J

No more worm farms

Sexy Man

Maybe he didnt like the conditions he was living in in Africa so he decide to be like others and become an illegal immigrant and find a better life in these United States????

The Sexiest Man Alive!!

SD Bob

This is interesting! We start with an article about a free range simba that's not suppose to be free range here and migrate into infringeing on the rights of private individuals! It boils down to responsible ownership: exotic pets, guns, alcohol, cars baseball bats........All are fine untill responsibility gets a few letters in front of it that reverses its' meaning. An emotional response says to ban ban ban but how many decsisions based on emotion turn out to be correct? Usually they are only pollitically correct which means it's absent minded! We have the right to free speech but some abuse that, should we ban that too? It only takes 1 moron to screw it for the many!


We shouldn't be so quick to call for a ban on something just because we don't understand it, these animals are dangerous but so are dogs. It all boils down to responsible ownership.

Matt M

Ed J,

Gun owners don't decide the gun is too big,dangerous, or too expensive to feed and decide to set it free in the Everglades or the local pond. Guns don't reproduce by themselves and wipe out native species and require hundres of thousands of taxdollars to eradicate. Exotic pets are not protected by the constitution. I guess we should leagalize crack because it's wrong to ban anything at all.

Mike Diehl

I don't have a problem with exotic pets. Just those owners who release them.

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