Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 26, 2019 


Mueller to testify in open session; migrant children returned to troubled detention center; plus ending the school-to-prison pipeline, and seeking justice for Native Americans killed at Wounded Knee.

Daily Newscasts

Milwaukee Lion Case Illustrates Need for New Law

PHOTO: Experts say the big cat on the loose in Milwaukee is probably an African lion cub, which may have been someone's pet. Credit: Kevin Pluck/Flickr.
PHOTO: Experts say the big cat on the loose in Milwaukee is probably an African lion cub, which may have been someone's pet. Credit: Kevin Pluck/Flickr.
July 28, 2015

WAUWAUTOSA, Wis. – As the search for the Milwaukee Lion – or whatever it is that's roaming neighborhoods on the north side of Milwaukee – moves into its second week, the incident is illustrating Wisconsin's lack of any laws regarding private ownership of wild animals.

Melissa Tedrowe, Wisconsin director for the Humane Society of the U.S., says Wisconsin is one of only five states that doesn't have laws which apply to this situation.

"It's important to realize the lack of laws in Wisconsin increases the likelihood that this lion, or whatever it is, is an escaped pet," she says. "That's an issue that we haven't dealt with in Wisconsin, and we really need to."

Tedrowe and others theorize the big cat was probably kept in some sort of cage in someone's backyard before it got loose. She says the situation has posed a threat to animals and humans in Milwaukee, and is creating a financial burden on taxpayers and law enforcement.

Many states, including all of Wisconsin's neighboring states, have passed laws which prohibit keeping wild animals as pets.

Tedrowe hopes the animal can be captured rather than killed, and that no one will be harmed.

"Many of the law enforcement officers that I've spoken with, and the DNR, don't want to see this killed either," she says. "If it's someone's pet it is not the animal's fault it's out wandering the streets of Milwaukee. This shouldn't have happened in the first place. We owe it to do right by our citizens, but also to do the best we can by this animal."

Some residents have speculated the animal is a cougar, which may have moved south along a river corridor to Milwaukee. Tedrowe doesn't believe that's the case. The animal has been seen and photographed several times.

"People with a considerable amount of knowledge in this area are suggesting that it looks like an African lion cub of some kind," she says. "It's relaxed enough in the way it's walking around neighborhoods to look like it's more comfortable around humans and neighborhoods than not."

The Milwaukee County Zoo reports that all of its big cats are accounted for.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI