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Lion on the Loose in Gahanna?
Residents of Gahanna, Ohio have worriedly been following reports about a lion loose in their vicinity. Police have fanned out to search for the creature, but with no luck. Now some are beginning to suspect that the lion sightings were just a prank, perhaps engineered by local college seniors. Ohio is, of course, no stranger to non-existent wild beasts on the loose. Those with a long memory might remember the Paulding County Hyena that terrorized people back in 1858. But the greatest escaped-animal prank of all time was the Central Park Zoo Escape of 1874. On the other hand, the Gahanna Lion might suddenly turn up. Here in Southern California we have to deal with mountain lions wandering around all the time. (Thanks, Rita)
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 05, 2004

It's interesting. I live in the area, and the lion has been the source of a lot of grins and interest. The "panic" pattern is pretty obvious - somebody says there's a lion near the airport, and a few people mistake other animals for a lion because "there's a lion out here" is filtering their perception. A few people think it's funny to call in lion sightings, other people start mistaking shadows for the lion, and generally, because a Mystery Lion is terribly exciting and fun, the cycle feeds itself until it collapses under the weight of disbelief. A lion that never appears is not so much fun, and the little panic tornado moves on.

There may actually be a lion yet - supposedly, the first witness was a police officer, whose description - 300-400 pound female African lion - is a bit too specific to be a coyote. Like the article said, though, it's certainly not sticking around where a bunch of people are tromping and shouting "Heeeeeere, kitty kitty!"
Posted by cthiax  on  Fri May 07, 2004  at  04:01 AM
Of course, someone could have been illegally keeping a lion that escaped, and they're not coming forward for the obvious reasons. Either that, or someone's been over-feeding Fluffy.
Posted by catlady  on  Thu Jul 29, 2004  at  12:46 AM
The Gahanna lion IS real, the same time you guys spotted it, there was one spotted in Zanesville, Ohio (about 50 miles southeast of Gahanna). The funny thing was first spotted about a 1/2 mile from a house that raises lions, leopards, tigers, bears, camels, etc. Oh yeah, AND he's missing a 300-400 pound MALE AFRICAN LION. That's a hell of a coincidence, wouldn't you say? It attacked either a lamb or a goat, but didn't completely kill it, it was so severely maimed it had to be put down. That's a sign of an animal raised in captivity that doesn't know how to kill, or at least, finish off his prey!
So, it was spotted by this guys' house, then about 10 miles away in Fultonham (where it attacked the goat or lamb), then 50 miles away in Gahanna. All within a few weeks. So, either the Zanesville/Gahanna lion are the same, or there are 2 of them out there.
Posted by jason allwood  in  gahanna  on  Thu Jan 15, 2009  at  11:40 AM
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