CBSN

Lion On The Loose In Ohio

Pat Currie, left, head keeper herbivore/carnivore at the Columbus Zoo, and Dr. Mike Barrie, chief veterinarian at the Columbus Zoo, talk with a Columbus Police officer after searching the woods around the Columbus International Airport in Gahanna, Ohio, after receiving reports of a loose lion in the area Tuesday, May 4, 2004. Residents first reported seeing the animal on Monday.
AP
Police are searching for a lion reported spotted by several residents in Gahanna, not far from Port Columbus International Airport.

"I'm convinced it's a 300-pound to 400-pound African lion," deputy police chief Larry Rinehart said. "We're scurrying. It's a heck of a day."

Television helicopters are hovering over the city trying to spot the big cat. Police contacted the Columbus Zoo for advice on what to do if they find the animal. The Ohio Highway Patrol had a helicopter on standby, in case it was needed.

Residents first reported seeing the animal on Monday. One police cruiser was stopped on a street when the animal bounded across the pavement in front of it.

Rinehart said he didn't know how the lion ended up in the residential areas on the western edge of Columbus, not far from Port Columbus International airport.

"That's the mystery," Rinehart said. "Whoever had it is not giving that information up. There are some lions that are legally owned in adjoining counties and they're all accounted for."