Cincinatti Lion|jon_downes|jon@eclipse.co.uk|07/04/03 at 13:06:24|jon_downes|xx|0|217.44.226.24|http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2003/07/03/loc_lionloose03.html

Thursday, July 3, 2003
Lion spotted lurking around rural area of Deerfield Twp.

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DEERFIELD TWP. - Deputies in helicopters and Warren County dog wardens on
foot and in pickup trucks searched Wednesday for a full-grown lion after a
farmhand reported three sightings of the animal since Sunday on his uncle's
Tylersville Road farm.

A zoo official who was consulted by police on how to trap the animal said
residents in subdivisions near the farm at 6666 Tylersville Road shouldn't
panic. Police are cautioning residents to keep their distance.

"The cat is not going to come out looking for human beings as a prey item,"
said Cathryn Hilker, who has raised lions and founded the Cincinnati Zoo's
Cat Ambassador program.

"The animal is going to stick to the heavy brush. He's not going to come up
and peer in your window. He just probably wishes people would leave him
alone."

Andy Lawson said he first encountered the lion Sunday night, when it made a
grunting racket outside his trailer. The lion returned, sniffing around his
trailer, the following night.

He and another farmworker, Lynn Wilson, said they have both seen large paw
prints inside the barn, where Lawson's uncle, Charlie Lawson, raises 17 race
horses.

Whatever has been visiting his farm hasn't harmed the horses. But Charlie
Lawson, who has lived on the 67 acres for 30 years as subdivisions and
businesses sprang up around him, said he's not taking any chances. He's
keeping his barn doors closed.


"I don't trust it," he said.

Andy Lawson said he hasn't been the same since he got a full look at the
animal, and stared into its golden eyes, Tuesday night when he saw the lion
sitting by his uncle's house.

"He's got a mane, the whole nine yards. He's a full-grown lion," said Andy
Lawson, who watched the animal from the camper where he sleeps at the farm.
"I don't drink and I don't smoke pot, although after this I wanted to. I
can't get those eyes out of my head. I'm edgy."

Andy Lawson called police Wednesday morning.

Hilker said she didn't see any discernible lion tracks when she visited the
farm Wednesday, but Andy Lawson said they were trampled by the horses and
police. Hilker said she had nothing to go on but Lawson's eyewitness
account. She didn't see proof that the animal was at the farm, but would not
discount his story.

Hilker said someone might have raised the lion as an exotic pet and it
either escaped or was turned loose.

"You can buy lions for $100 at a flea market. You can take them home and you
can raise them. They turn into a 400-pound cat that no one knows what to do
with," she said.

Hilker suggested that authorities set out a large cage with meat inside to
trap the animal, or track the lion with dogs. Helicopter flyovers observed
only deer and other common animals, Warren County sheriff's officials said.

Local dog and game wardens were talking about putting a motion-detection
camera near the barn and setting a trap. Lawson said he planned to place a
sound-activated camera atop their camper so he could capture the lion's
image on tape if it returned.

"This is a public safety issue and we're trying to figure it out, too,"
Deputy Warren County Dog Warden Nick Arbino said. "We don't usually deal
with exotic animals. We normally catch dogs."

In the meantime, sheriff's officials are urging anyone who sees the animal,
or has information about a missing lion, to call the county communications
center at 695-1289.

Hilker said she doubts that an owner will come forward.

"If there is a cat out there and the owner knows he's gone, the last thing
the owner is going to do is come forward," she said. "It's a lawsuit waiting
to happen."

|| Re: Cincinatti Lion|elliott_saunders|elliott@ellsweb.com|07/12/03 at 13:39:20|admin|xx|0|217.44.22.24|Lion sighting reported in Mason  
By Paul Leightty  
Cincinnati Post staff reporter

Suburban Mason may not seem like a jungle, but the jungle's king has  
come to the area.  
Caspar Lawson, 42, reported seeing a full-grown, 400-pound African  
lion with a bushy mane wandering around his uncle's farm two or three  
times in the last week.  
Charlie Lawson, 74, said his nephew, who lives and works with him on  
the horse farm in the 6000 block of Tylersville Road on the outskirts  
of Mason, saw the big cat "real plain" and face-to-face about 1,000  
feet from their home Tuesday night.  
The Warren County Sheriff's Office said Caspar Lawson reported the  
sighting Wednesday morning, but deputies and officers were unable to  
locate the animal, even after a search by a Hamilton County Sheriff's  
Office helicopter.  
No other witnesses of the lion have come forward, said Maj. Gary  
Miller of the Warren County Sheriff's Office.  
Police called in Mason resident Cathryn Hilker, a cat expert with the  
Cincinnati Zoo, for advice on how to lure the lion and humanely trap  
it.  
She said there were no signs of a lion having been there.  
"There are rather indiscernible tracks of something," said Hilker,  
who founded the Cat Ambassador program at the Cincinnati Zoo.  
Hilker said if there is a lion prowling the premises, it didn't come  
from the zoo. It could be owned by a private individual -- possession  
of such animals is legal in Warren and Hamilton counties, she said.  
Hilker said that while it might be dangerous to approach a lion, it  
would also be "quite dumb to panic" in such a situation.  
"The lion is not going to leap through your door and carry your  
children away," she said. She suggested walking away calmly and  
calling 911 for assistance.  
Mason police Lt. Ed Petry said a Warren County game warden set up a  
bear trap Wednesday night.  
"They don't get hurt," said Dan Frevert, assistant wildlife  
management supervisor for the Ohio Department of Natural  
Resources. "That's the whole intent."  
Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at (513)  
695-1289.  
Maj. Gary Miller of the Warren County Sheriff's Office said police  
have not received any reports of animal carcasses that might indicate  
a lion had been feeding in the area, nor have police received any  
reports of missing exotic pets.  




Thursday, July 3, 2003  
Lion spotted lurking around rural area of Deerfield Twp.  
By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Deputies in helicopters and Warren County dog wardens on foot and in  
pickup trucks searched Wednesday for a full-grown lion after a  
farmhand reported three sightings of the animal since Sunday on his  
uncle's Tylersville Road farm.  
A zoo official who was consulted by police on how to trap the animal  
said residents in subdivisions near the farm at 6666 Tylersville Road  
shouldn't panic. Police are cautioning residents to keep their  
distance.  
"The cat is not going to come out looking for human beings as a prey  
item," said Cathryn Hilker, who has raised lions and founded the  
Cincinnati Zoo's Cat Ambassador program.  
"The animal is going to stick to the heavy brush. He's not going to  
come up and peer in your window. He just probably wishes people would  
leave him alone."  
Andy Lawson said he first encountered the lion Sunday night, when it  
made a grunting racket outside his trailer. The lion returned,  
sniffing around his trailer, the following night.  
He and another farmworker, Lynn Wilson, said they have both seen  
large paw prints inside the barn, where Lawson's uncle, Charlie  
Lawson, raises 17 race horses.  
Whatever has been visiting his farm hasn't harmed the horses. But  
Charlie Lawson, who has lived on the 67 acres for 30 years as  
subdivisions and businesses sprang up around him, said he's not  
taking any chances. He's keeping his barn doors closed.  
"I don't trust it," he said.  
Andy Lawson said he hasn't been the same since he got a full look at  
the animal, and stared into its golden eyes, Tuesday night when he  
saw the lion sitting by his uncle's house.  
"He's got a mane, the whole nine yards. He's a full-grown lion," said  
Andy Lawson, who watched the animal from the camper where he sleeps  
at the farm. "I don't drink and I don't smoke pot, although after  
this I wanted to. I can't get those eyes out of my head. I'm edgy."  
Andy Lawson called police Wednesday morning.  
Hilker said she didn't see any discernible lion tracks when she  
visited the farm Wednesday, but Andy Lawson said they were trampled  
by the horses and police. Hilker said she had nothing to go on but  
Lawson's eyewitness account. She didn't see proof that the animal was  
at the farm, but would not discount his story.  
Hilker said someone might have raised the lion as an exotic pet and  
it either escaped or was turned loose.  
"You can buy lions for $100 at a flea market. You can take them home  
and you can raise them. They turn into a 400-pound cat that no one  
knows what to do with," she said.  
Hilker suggested that authorities set out a large cage with meat  
inside to trap the animal, or track the lion with dogs. Helicopter  
flyovers observed only deer and other common animals, Warren County  
sheriff's officials said.  
Local dog and game wardens were talking about putting a motion-
detection camera near the barn and setting a trap. Lawson said he  
planned to place a sound-activated camera atop their camper so he  
could capture the lion's image on tape if it returned.  
"This is a public safety issue and we're trying to figure it out,  
too," Deputy Warren County Dog Warden Nick Arbino said. "We don't  
usually deal with exotic animals. We normally catch dogs."  
In the meantime, sheriff's officials are urging anyone who sees the  
animal, or has information about a missing lion, to call the county  
communications center at 695-1289.  
Hilker said she doubts that an owner will come forward.  
"If there is a cat out there and the owner knows he's gone, the last  
thing the owner is going to do is come forward," she said. "It's a  
lawsuit waiting to happen."  
E-mail smclaughin@enquirer.com




Lion in Warren? One resident says so  
Officials deploy to catch big cat  
By Kristin McAllister  
kmcallister@DaytonDailyNews.com  
MASON | Police on Wednesday searched for an African lion with a mane  
sighted near Tylersville and Butler-Warren roads in southern Warren  
County.  
One person reported the big cat walking around a neighborhood in the  
6600 block of Tylersville Road. That call came in at 9:15 a.m.  
Wednesday.  
But Mason police and Warren County sheriff's deputies are taking the  
report seriously and they asked the Cincinnati Zoo for advice about  
how to catch the animal.  
Police searched the neighborhood while Hamilton County sheriff's  
deputies flew over the area in a helicopter. They also called in  
Mason resident Cathryn Hilker, a cat expert with the Cincinnati Zoo,  
for information about how to lure the lion and humanely trap it.  
Hilker and Mason police Lt. Ed Petry viewed possible lion paw prints  
at the scene.  
"It was very hard to make out," Petry said. "This could be something  
else."  
Petry said a Warren County game warden set up a bear trap for  
Wednesday night.  
"They don't get hurt," said Dan Frevert, assistant wildlife  
management supervisor for the Ohio Department of Natural  
Resources. "That's the whole intent."  
Police are asking anyone with information to contact them. They also  
are instructing the public not to attempt to trap the animal, but  
instead, call 911.  
Maj. Gary Miller of the Warren County Sheriff's Office said police  
have not received any reports of animal carcasses that might indicate  
a lion had been feeding in the area, nor have police received any  
reports of missing exotic pets.  
Police are not ruling anything out, including the possibility that  
what the caller saw was a large dog.  
"It could even be a Chow," Miller said. "People sometimes shave them  
and leave the mane full. We've responded to calls before and found  
that to be the case."  
Contact Kristin McAllister at (513) 933-0997. Sarah Buehrle of Cox  
News Service contributed to this article.  
[From the Dayton Daily News: 07.03.2003]  



Man Says Lion Lurks On Local Streets
Citizen Observes Animal Wednesday Morning
CINCINNATI -- A local man called police when he saw a 5-foot lion  
lurking near a Tri-State farm.  
http://www.channelcincinnati.com/news/2308890/detail.html



Police Investigate Reports Of Loose Lion In Warren Co.  
Watch this 9News video...  
http://wcpo.com/news/2003/local/07/02/lion.html || Re: Cincinatti Lion|jon_downes|jon@eclipse.co.uk|07/27/03 at 10:50:56|jon_downes|xx|0|217.44.226.9|Saturday, July 26, 2003
Is a lion out there? Expert thinks so


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer


DEERFIELD TWP. - Andy Lawson doesn't go very far these days without a loaded .308-caliber rifle slung over his shoulder.



[img]http://www.eclipse.co.uk/cfz/bb/lawson.jpg[/img]


[b]Rifle on his shoulder, Andy Lawson points out an indentation he says was made by the lion on his uncle's farm.[/b]

It's been a month since Warren County deputies abandoned their attempts to find the male lion that Lawson swears he saw on his uncle's Tylersville Road farm in late June. Lawson - and now his father, Doc - say they're still seeing the big cat, almost every morning since things quieted down at the farm.

And what Lawson has described to a veteran exotic animal tracker is enough to make the expert take him seriously.

Tim Harrison, a suburban Dayton police officer who has studied big cats in Africa and Nepal and has captured them locally and nationally for 30 years, pledged Friday to help Lawson find the lion.

"There's probably a 70 percent chance there's something out there," said Harrison, who met with Lawson and walked the farm recently.

"We've got a dart rifle, a dart pistol and a .45 Magnum. There are only two ways it's going to come out. It's either asleep or dead."

Harrison, who caught an 80-pound cougar in downtown Dayton last year, said he was convinced when Lawson described the grunting noises he said he hears early in the morning.

"Even if he watched TV shows, they don't show the lions making those noises at night. He made the exact noise," said Harrison.

Harrison said he has checked with four Warren County residents who raise big cats to see if they have any missing. Two refused to allow him on their property, he said.

Sheriff Tom Ariss said he doesn't want his deputies to spend any extra time at the farm. They'll respond if Lawson calls.

But Lawson said he's fed up with local authorities because he feels they've disregarded his sightings as a hoax.

That's a typical response, Harrison said.

"They pooh-pooh it. Until they see the pictures," he said.

E-mail smclaughlin@enquirer .com


||07/27/03 at 10:53:25|jon_downes