2 Witnesses Make Potential Lion Sighting|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|11/22/04 at 00:18:53|richard_f|xx|0||2 Witnesses Make Potential Lion Sighting

November 15, 2004

NEWARK, Ohio -- There has been another possible lion sighting in Central Ohio, this time by two people in Newark, NBC 4's Marshall McPeek reported.

Dan Gartner and Holly Hanbaum thought there was a big house cat in a tree in their back yard, but on second look, they realized it was something much bigger.

"When it came across the woods, it was obviously hunting," Gartner said. "The first thought was that if that was my dog, it would be as big as my dog. There aren't a lot of cats running around as big as my dog."

The creature sat in the tree long enough for Gartner and Hanbaum to go back inside the house and get binoculars, look a little longer and then call 911.

Newark police Sgt. Craig Riley said Gartner was describing the animal to the dispatcher as crews were on their way to the scene.

"The reported lion, bobcat cat? It's in a tree in my back yard," Gartner told a 911 dispatcher. "It's only about probably 40 yards from the back of the property line in the woods, in a tree about 15 feet up."

Hanbaum said she got a good description of the creature.

"He was just golden with a little white on his face," Hanbaum said.

Police searched the neighborhood near The Ohio State University's Newark campus. They saw deer running out of the woods, but the big cat was already gone. Animal control agents found evidence, though.

"The game (commission) guy was up there and said it killed a cardinal," Gartner said. "They found cardinal remains up there."

Police said the cat may be a cougar or a mountain lion. At this point, the animal doesn't appear to be dangerous to people, but officials said they want to do something about it before it has a chance to hurt anyone.

There have been scattered reports of lion sightings between Gahanna and Zanesville since May, NBC 4 reported.

The sightings began May 3 in the Taylor Road area of Gahanna. Witnesses of three confirmed lion sightings said that they spotted a female lion, weighing anywhere between 300 and 400 pounds.

|| Re: 2 Witnesses Make Potential Lion Sighting|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|11/22/04 at 00:21:09|richard_f|xx|0||
From WBNS-TV Channel 10 (Columbus, OH): 13 Nov. 2004
Granville, Ohio
Wild Cat Sightings Reported

Granville police are looking for a wild cat, after getting several reports
of one in the area.
Anne Russell saw it at the intersection of Newark-Granville and Cherry
Bottom Roads on Wednesday night.
"He came into my lights and I could clearly see him walking from left to
right," Russell said. "My mouth dropped. I was surprised but I was also
excited because I was like, oh my God, I've just seen the Gahanna lion."
Police have spent a week searching for signs of the mystery animal, without
any luck.  Licking County investigators have scattered several deer
carcasses in the area, hoping to get a closer look at whatever's lurking in
these woods.
Granville police officer Suzanna Dawson also saw a big cat lounging in the
brush.  "Whether it was a mountain lion, a cougar or an African lion. It was
a large cat," she said.

|| Re: 2 Witnesses Make Potential Lion Sighting|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|11/22/04 at 00:28:57|richard_f|xx|0||From the Coshocton (OH) Tribune:
Lion sightings continue in Central Ohio
Gannett News Service
November 17, 2004

NEWARK, Ohio -- The lion sightings continue in Central Ohio, with a new report coming from a Newark couple who claim to have seen a big cat near their property Monday morning.

"We didn't think we saw something, we did see something," said Dan Gartner, 59, a resident of Londondale Parkway.

Gartner and his wife, eye doctor Holly Hanbaum, spotted what looked like a small lion at about 8:20 a.m. Monday.

Hanbaum then got out a pair of binoculars to get a better look. "That's when she could see its face and tail," Gartner said.

On Nov. 3, a Granville resident reported seeing a lion near Newark-to-Granville and Cherry Valley roads. Since then, the Licking County Animal Control Department has attempted to locate any big cat that may be on the loose.

Gartner, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, is convinced what he saw was a large feline with a long tail.

"It looked like a small lion," he said. "If you saw a lion and reduced in your mind about 20 percent, that's what it looked like."

Newark police arrived and searched the area for about an hour, but did not locate anything.

Gartner said that before he lost sight of the animal, it moved away quickly and sent some nearby deer running.

"A house cat is not going to move deer," he said.

Licking County Animal Control Director Jon Luzio said there is no new evidence to declare the presence of a big cat, but the persistence of reports from credible sources is intriguing.

Luzio said if credible sightings continue to come in, he will continue to investigate and step up efforts to locate the animal.

Deer carcasses have been placed in the vicinity of the original sighting to try to lure any big cat out.

The end of the fall season is expected to help in any search efforts.

"Now that the foliage is down, it's going to make spotting something easier," Luzio said.