‘Lion-Like’ Animal on the Lam in Milwaukee

Video screen capture. NBC News

The mystery creature continues to evade searchers after a week’s worth of sightings.

It’s been a week since police first started receiving reports of a "lion-like" animal cruising the streets of Milwaukee. After officers actually saw the creature in the flesh, they confirmed that indeed a big cat was roaming about town, although what kind of cat they aren’t sure.

A zoologist helping to find the animal suggested it could be a young African lion or a mature mountain lion or other cougar species. Nobody knows where it came from; the Milwaukee Zoo said via Twitter that all its lions were accounted for. Meanwhile, the mystery kitty is proving to be talented at hide and seek. Big cats are great at climbing trees and fitting into snug places; plus, camouflage works, even in the city.

Early last week, someone caught the creature on their mobile phone – adding to the hubbub a bit of video and screenshots murky enough (see above) to make Big Foot proud:

CBS 58

After more sighting this weekend, police thought they had the animal cornered, but no. NBC News reports:

"Armed police, accompanied by Department of Natural Resources agents, converged Sunday morning on a bridge over Lincoln Creek after a police officer saw a 'catlike' animal in a ravine, but 'unfortunately we weren't able to keep visibility,' and the animal likely has escaped the containment effort, Milwaukee police Lt. Paul Formolo said. "Another officer spotted what appeared to be the same animal overnight, leading police to focus their search near the intersection 30th and Fairmont streets."

People are flocking to areas wherever the cat was last spotted; police are asking residents to please stay away. In return, those of us animal lovers hope that when and if the police do find the cat, they employ tranquilizers rather than more drastic measures.

To keep up, the creature, of course, has a Twitter account. Kitty has a sense of humor.