Milwaukee man mistakenly shoots dog amid ‘lion on the loose’ fears

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WUPPERTAL,GERMANY- APRIL 08: A lion is seen at the Wuppertal Zoo on April 8, 2009 in Wuppertal, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A man who thought he spotted a lion that people have reported seeing wandering on Milwaukee’s north side, has shot and injured a large pit bull.

WITI-TV reports that the dog, which was shot Tuesday night, is being cared for at the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission.

The organization’s director Karen Sparapani says people might be “amped up or afraid” by the reports of lion sightings. The pit bull suffered a fractured leg, but should be OK. It isn’t clear if the gunman will face charges.

Video surfaced Tuesday showing what appears to be a big cat sauntering through a neighborhood. The woman who shot the video planned to grill out on Tuesday evening — but with a baseball bat nearby — just in case.

Police and wildlife officials are trying to determine what it is that the woman caught on camera.

Milwaukee police say they have investigated about two dozen calls of apparent lion sightings. No animal has been found. Police Chief Edward Flynn has said his officers were given cellphone video of an animal that appeared to be a “lion-ish creature.”

Kelly Brooks says a strange footprint appeared in his yard on Monday. Even stranger — the call he got from his neighbor.

“I got the call from the neighbor saying ‘hey Kelly, don’t go in your backyard. It’s a big animal back there and it looks like a lion,” Brooks said.

Brooks admits that at first, he didn’t believe it. Then he saw the video his neighbor shot.

“I’m like that’s a lion, lion! Not like a play lion — like a lion, lion,” Brooks said.

As of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, an MPD spokesman said: “The ‘lion’ remains at large.”

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