There has been no shortage of strange animal reports over the years in Evansville, Indiana but was there really a lion spotted this past weekend?

The Report

Over the weekend there was a report made to area police about a lion on the loose. A local organization that monitors police scanners and reports what they hear to social media known as Evansville Watch shared this on the evening of August 21, 2022, just before 8 pm,

Animal Complaint- 5800 block Tribby Lane. Caller states they just saw a female lion run behind their house. Caller thinks it could have escaped from the zoo. EPD enroute. Mesker Park Zoo Security was notified and is working on a lion head count.

Call In The Tiger Lion King... Or The Zoo

While it sounds a bit like something we would have watched back in 2020 as the whole world was enthralled with the likes of Joe Exotic and Carol Baskins, this was not a local episode of The Tiger King. However, according to the report, Mesker Park Zoo was contacted to see if they might be missing a big cat.

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No Lions But Tigers Oh My!

A couple of things to note: The report from Evansville Watch states the caller made reference to seeing a "female lion." It also said that that zoo was doing a "lion head count." However, Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo does not actually have any lions and hasn't had any for a number of years now. That being said, female lions lack the big mane that gives male lions their regal appearance and a tiger certainly could be mistaken for a female lion if one didn't know any better.

After Some Investigation

After an investigation by the Evansville Police Department in the surrounding area, Evansville Watch reported an update to their post in the comments section, stating,

Sounds like this is being marked unfounded. Don't believe any large felines escaped from the zoo or are out running the streets of EVV.

Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash


Big Cat or Mistaken Caller

While it may not have been an escaped lion or tiger from the zoo that the original caller spotted, could it have been a big cat? We may never know for sure but there have been reports over the years of people who have spotted cougars and bobcats on the city's west side and there have been bobcats spotted in Warrick County in the past as well so anything is possible.

15 Animals that Could Attack You in Evansville

Evil squirrels, killer bunnies, terrifying geese, and more are featured in this gallery of real-life animal stories.

SEE: 15 Animals You Cannot Own in Evansville

I got the idea for this after seeing an article by Michelle Heart with our Townsquare Media sister-station, 107.9 Lite-FM in Boise, Idaho. She had discovered several animals residents in that city can't own based on city codes she found online which got me thinking about whether Evansville had any regulations that were similar. Obviously, they did or this article wouldn't exist. Chapter 14, Article 3, section 42 and 43 spell out a lengthy list of exotic animals you can get in trouble owning if local officials find out. You can see the entire list on the city's website. These are the 15 I found to be the most interesting.


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