Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 8th, 2011
Native lions and lionesses don’t exist in Australia, of course.
But intriguingly, on the same day, Sunday, November 6, 2011, of reports of a sighting of a “lion” reported in Yorkshire, UK, half-a-world away, similar encounters was taking place in Oz.
Authorities in Darwin, Australia, are on the lookout for a feral lioness, after three reports of a big cat being spotted crossing the Stuart Highway.
The sightings about 9pm on Sunday (6 November 2011) sparked a quick police search and a check at Crocodylus, a local wildlife park just a few minutes away.
According to the Northern Territory News, three cars pulled over while the animal crossed the highway in front of them at Pinelands, a small suburb about 20 kilometres from Darwin.
”I often get reports of dingoes in the area, which are a similar colour but a completely different size,” a police spokeswoman said. Police found no trace of the creature.
Crocodylus chief scientist Charlie Manolis said he took the sightings seriously, but both lions at the park were found to be secure.
He said that ”not in a gazillion years” could a lion have escaped its enclosure, then voluntarily returned and been present when checked. He said because three people had reported seeing a lion, it was likely something was roaming around.
”Whether there is a large dog or a beastie out there that looks like a lion, we would like to find out any information about what it really is,” he said.
Crocodylus is the only wildlife park in the Northern Territory that houses lions.