Monday, March 2, 2009

African Lions Loose In Georgia? Is the Circus in Town?

Yes, African Lions are just that-lions from Africa, which means that they are from and found there. But in Georgia, as well as other states, these large cats have been seen in the wild.

In Loren Coleman's "Mysterious America" he reports of an incident in Georgia in 1976.
In the little town of Alapaha, and yes, that is a real town in South Georgia and I actually met a couple who live there a few years ago, there was a report of a weird animal in the pasture of Mr. J.H. Holyoak. Mr. Holyoak was driving his pick-up truck to check his cattle when he spotted something strange in the pasture. At first he thought it was a big dog chasing his cattle. But upon a closer look, he noticed that this animal looked half-panther and half-lion. Mr. H (I will abbreviate as his name is hard to type) commented that it looked pretty much like a panther except it had a mane on its neck. According to him, the mane resembled that of an African lion. His son, Ken, a graduate of the University of Georgia, reported that he had never seen anything like this in the pastures and fields of South Georgia. The sigthing took place in Berrien County. He shot the animal and wounded it, but his shot did not bring it down. The animal ran off in to the woods after the shot. Ken reported that other area residents reported seeing the large cat in the forests and swamps between Alapaha and a little town called Enigma, and as Coleman points out, that is certainly an interesting name for such an occurance.

There are other reports of lions in Georgia. In the 1960s it was reported that two hunters killed what looked like a young African lion in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. There is a photograph of this kill, and the name of the man who owns the picture is Malcolm Edwards. I know nothing else about him. It was rumored that the animal had been kept as a pet.

There are probably more than a few explanations for this. First, there could be some large cat hybrid running around that we don't know about. There are a few species of large cats here in Georgia in the wild, and this could easily be a hybrid of such. On the other hand, these could have been lions that escaped from a circus. I would rule out an escapee from Zoo Atlanta, as Alapaha is over a few hours south of Atlanta. Alapaha is close to the Florida line in South Georgia. On the other hand, the killing in Blue Ridge was more than likely an actual lion being kept as a pet. I think that is illegal in Georgia, and if it is not, it should be for this very reason. But if an escaped lion somehow got out in to the wild in Georgia, I am sure it could breed or could have been out actually chasing those cattle for food. I shudder to think what might have happened had the Holyoaks wondered up on it accidentally while it was feeding. From the sound of his report, the gunshots from his rifle did hardly anything to it.

Oh well, if Semba is actually out there in Georgia, I wonder if he likes peaches, onions or peanuts? You never know. It does appear he has a taste for steak, though!

29 comments:

scooter said...

LOL! Well, we have zebras on I-75,pythons and boas in the Everglades, and now we have Lions on the Georgia piedmont.

Surely, and I do mean surely this cat had to escape from one of the Lion Country Safari deals in the state? I'm sicerely hoping Lions havent fopund a way to migrate here. ;)


LOL Caprice on your victory on the Bigfoot thread, I just couldn't take the heat anymore! :)

But as Ahnold said, "I'll be back"

:-)

Scooter

The Professor said...

Yeah, somehow I don't think this is migration at all. I don't think they could swim that far, nor do I think they would like all that cold weather on the Siberian Plain, Bering Strait, and then the Alaskan/Canadian Tundra.

I would say this would have to be some escapee, but then it does have some pretty interesting reprecussions if it was. If they breed with other large cats in the area, we could have an issue. But I think we might be okay.

The Professor said...

Somehow I don't think Kroger will be able to start carrying Kitty Litter pans this big. But then again, anything is possible in America.

Wren said...

Professor,

Have you heard of Samson the Lion that lives at Noah's Ark? He was brought in to America as a cub and used as a drug guard cat in Rome Ga. until he and his owner both got into some of the owner's stash.

Seems Samson got out of the house and was found messed up roaming the streets of Rome till caught.

I am thinking a lot of people get thess as cubs thinking that like Siegfried and Roy they will become kindred with natures big beast. Upon finding that to be a big "ooops" they set them loose in the woods so as not to face the police and charges and jail time.

That is how most of the wild animals get to Noah's Ark anyway.

The Professor said...

I have heard of Noah's Ark, but I was not familiar with the lion story from Rome. It sounds plausible to me. I don't think this is the mystery in the sense that the Dickson House and Georgia Bigfoot are, but it is an interesting story, and guaranteed that if someone stumbled upon one of these in the wilds of Georgia, they would have just as well tangled with a Bigfoot. :)

Caprice said...

Whoow Scooter!
Zebras on I-75!
I missed that one - although some things are starting to make since now...:) But really, there were zebras on I-75? Eeegads!
Thanks for the Bigfoot victory.
...although it feels shallow somehow...
Don't give up! We'll get a good debate going on something. What religion are you? HA! JUST KIDDING PROFESSOR! Don't yell at me...
...can't take the yelling.
African Lions in Georiga!?
Like we don't have enough to worry about! Pollution, taxes, traffic, jobs, haunted Titanic exhibits, Bigfoot, apparently we have zebras on I-75! Now I have to keep looking over my shoulder for "the big cat attack"!
I'm going to HAVE to quit reading your blogs at night. Now I'll NEVER get to sleep!! :)

Wren said...

Oh Caprice you missed out on Evidence?!?!?!!!

He fell out of a truck on I-75 last year, he was between 2 to 3 months old. Between Butts county and Henry he was found munching on the side of the highway.

The police at first glance thought he was ok but just lose. As one officer got closer they saw he had been hit horribly, being a baby they were able to get him into a police car until someone could get a horse trailer and get him safely tucked away.

Noah's Ark hearing about him instantly claimed him and any bills that might come his way, he was sent to Veterinarians at Auburn University's vet school. Sadly they had never worked with a zebra and treated him as a horse, but he is fine now and living at Noah's Ark. Needless to say noone ever came forward and claimed Evidence, the reason behind his name is, while staying in touch with the police the people at Noah's Ark, everytime they called for updates the police still referred to him as Evidence because the case was sill open.

So Noah's Ark said the name stuck and was in way kind of perfect for him. Over time people helped donate for him so when he came home he had shelter and a travel camper, seeing as the one animal Noah's Ark never had was a zebra. People it seem will smuggle very odd animals into Georgia and this country :|

scooter said...

No problem Caprice! I am happy to concede. But religion? Oh my, a very touchy subject for sure but I will share a little. ;) But only if you promise not to hold me to any info I share? You must also keep it secret?

:)


As for my church, I am a member of the TVU, short for Tunnel Vision Universal. We used to be named International instead of Universal, but seeing as how we've managed to subjugate the entire planet Earth, we felt we needed to stretch out a little. Let me back up a little here.....we did plan originally to go and take over Antartica but our scientists there said there were only a few penguins and lots of ice. Besides, they said the place keeps falling into the ocean.

Anyway, membership is very exclusive; you must be a white male to belong. As you no doubt have learned from reading the Prof's blog, white men are inherently EVIL. We are mostly born that way but some do manage to get through with maybe a fleck of goodness; usually caused by genetic mutation no doubt. We usually spot these types though. Eventually they can't help but commit an act kindness like giving a cookie to a kid or tending to a little old lady that needs help crossing the street.
However, we pride ourselves in being short-sighted and never consider others points of view. We also realize and admit that white man has never done anything of value while on the planet Earth and that we should be ridiculed continuously by any human form here not white male.

Anyway, we were figuring that since the Milky way is about 200,000 years across and contains anywhere between 200-400 billion stars, there's bound to be somebody we can take over.

We're also currently working to locate a planet where the Yeti could have originated. We know that one is among us because of the movie Star Wars.





Caprice, I hope this clears it all up? :)



disclaimer:
(no disrepect to honest research and/or ideas is meant by this post)

Caprice said...

Hi Wren,
Thanks for clearing that up for me.
I cannot believe I missed it!! I HAD to have been traveling!

Scooter!
AHAAAAA! LOL
Where to begin?
I think it is very short sighted and bigoted of you people to exclude a demographic just because it occupies a location that soon may, or may not be in the ocean!
I'm feeling the urge to make signs stating "penguins are people too" and march back and forth in front of your place of worship. Where do you TVU go for that?
White MALE to join! UGHH! It's the Masons all over again! I can't get in anywhere! (... and yes, I know the Masons are not exclusive to white's, but that really doesn't help ME now does it?) :)
And ooooo, the Prof is gonna get ya for saying his blogs say white men are EVIL! Even if all of you are, the Prof would NEVER say it out loud on his blog!
I guess you can't even let me know when you find where Yeti originated. I'm not a member. I'll just have to take comfort in my constant nagging and demoralizing of your fellow members. :)
BTW, ya know it's really gonna be a good blog when it comes with a disclaimer!!! HA!

scooter said...

LOL Caprice on the 'penguins are people too' signs. :)

Reminds me of Nemo's Bruce the shark saying, "Fish are not food, fish are friends" at the 12 step shark meeting.

Hey Prof I ordered it!
'Sasquatch: The Legend Meets Science'

Will read and let you know what I think...

(sorry if this is a duplicate message, blogger central is giving me a hard time posting.)


Scooter

Caprice said...

Hey Scooter!
I thought your blog was hilarious! Many guffaws!

I'm interested to hear what you think about all this stuff after reading 'Sasquatch: The Legend Meets Science'. I haven't read it, but since I'm interested in cryptozoology, I've already run into a lot of the facts that I THINK I would run into reading "Sasquatch..." so I'll wait for The Prof's book. or am I wrong Prof?

The Professor said...

Caprice,
Are you wrong? Well, you are wrong in general... Just kidding.
I would seriously try to get a hold of that book if you could. It is quite enlightening. I have used it as a source in my book, but there is so much more to that book that what I have referenced in mine.

The Professor said...

Glad to see that you got that book, Scooter. It will be a very interesting read. I look foward to discussing it with you.

Caprice said...

Hey Prof!
I'll get the book - now if only I had a good source for getting books, hmmmm....
... and about your comment on my being wrong - ha, ha, ha - watch it! There are soooooo many things that can go wrong with a taco...

scooter said...

Hey Caprice!

"I'll get the book - now if only I had a good source for getting books, hmmmm...."


Something tells me the above statement could be misleading, but I got mine at Amazon. :) New for $7.50?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0765312174/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&qid=1236209671&sr=8-1&condition=new

(sorry I would post a better link but am html illiterate)

Or you could just borrow Prof's, that is if you are the same folks he does the cemetery or 'Capitalist Ghost' tours with. :)

Scooter

scooter said...

BTW Prof!

You post some really nice ethical dilemmas in your civics blog, I checked it out earlier. Do you use that for teaching class? You should if you don't, but maybe the college has a good site already.
I liked esp the one on assimilation and did my mess there. :) Hope it's alright.

Hey! Assimilation....is that anywhere close to assumption?.........nah , reckon not, other than the first 3 letters :-)

Anyway, I took a class in Ethics in Criminal Justice last year.....pretty interesting.
I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on people clinging to tradition and if doing so can be developmentally harmful socially-speaking, that is.

Thanks Prof!

Scooter

The Professor said...

Absolutely, Scooter. I do use those in my classes. I include an ethics component in all of my classes, and those blogs are part of the component. As you can see, they get quite busy at times.

I am glad for you to post there. Please feel free. The students will then have another person to include in the debate.

scooter said...

10-4 Prof,

I'll try to stir up some trouble wherever I'm needed.

Thanks!
Scooter

scooter said...

Alls I can say Caprice is be very careful what you dabble in....

"I haven't read it, but since I'm interested in cryptozoology, I've already run into a lot of the facts that I THINK I would run into reading "Sasquatch..." so I'll wait for The Prof's book. or am I wrong Prof?"



You can see what might happen if you were to replace the first Y in cryptozoology with an A?

I'm just sayin....


Scooter

scooter said...

BTW Prof!

That comment about Simba eating peanuts brought to mind a recommendation I'd like to pass on.

If you haven't made a Sunday morning trip to Plains, GA. to visit Jimmy Carter's Sunday school class, I'd highly recommend it, no matter your political or religious persuasion. :)

It's worth the trip.

Scooter

The Professor said...

Yeah, or if you replace the z in zoology with a "b". :)
Just saying all science can be kind of spooky.

Yes, I have often thought it would be nice to visit his Sunday school class. I have read several of his books, and while I disagree with his politics, I am pretty much in line with his religious ideas. I am not a fundamentalist, although I still place the Bible very much at the heart of my spiritual life.

Keep reading and debating!!!

scooter said...

um.....'scuse me....but Caprice? you there?

I just wanted you to see this. Remember the space search I mentioned?

"Telescope blasts into space to find other Earths
Published: 3/7/09, 10:08 AM EDT
By MARCIA DUNN
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA's planet-hunting telescope, Kepler, rocketed into space Friday night on a historic voyage to track down other Earths in a faraway patch of the Milky Way galaxy.

It's the first mission capable of answering the age-old question: Are other worlds like ours out there?

Kepler, named after the German 17th century astrophysicist, set off on its unprecedented mission at 10:49 p.m., thundering into a clear sky embellished by a waxing moon.

"It was just magnificent. It looked like a star was being formed in the sky," said Bill Borucki, Kepler's principal scientist. "Everybody was delighted, everybody was screaming, 'Go Kepler!'"


Kepler's mission will last at least 3 1/2 years and cost $600 million.

The goal is to find, if they exist, Earth-like planets circling stars in the so-called habitable zone - orbits where liquid water could be present on the surface of the planets. That would mean there are lots of places out there for life to evolve, Borucki said.

On the other hand, "if we don't find any, it really means Earths are very rare, we might be the only extant life and, in fact, that will be the end of 'Star Trek.' "

Once it's settled into an Earth-trailing orbit around the sun, Kepler will stare nonstop at 100,000 stars near the Cygnus and Lyra constellations, between 600 and 3,000 light years away. The telescope will watch for any dimming, or winks, in the stellar brightness that might be caused by orbiting planets.

Astronomers already have found more than 300 planets orbiting other stars, but they're largely inhospitable gas giants like Jupiter. Kepler will be looking for smaller rocky planets akin to Earth.

Kepler is designed to find hundreds of Earth-like planets if they're common and, perhaps, dozens of them in the habitable zone, Borucki said. The telescope is so powerful that from space, NASA maintains, it could detect someone in a small town turning off a porch light at night.

It won't be looking for signs of life, though. That's for future spacecraft.

NASA was counting on a successful launch to offset the loss last week of the space agency's Orbiting Carbon Observatory. That environmental satellite ended up crashing into the Antarctic because of rocket failure. It was a different type of rocket than the one used for Kepler.

Everything seemed to go well with Kepler's launch."


If he's out there we'll find him!

;)

Night said...

Uh, Professor, if they are African Lions found in the States, aren't they now African-American lions?
lol jk

Caprice said...

Hey Scooter!
... and Prof,
sorry I have been incommunicado, but I've been tired - I'll try not to let it happen again...

Thanks for the info on Kepler.
Considering what it takes for a planet like Earth to get to the stage where life can thrive, and then ALL the events that have to occur in just the right time line, for intelligent life to appear - I just don't know if we will ever find another Earth.
But ol' Yeti might be on a Jupiter-type planet. :)

Did you hear that the definition of a galaxy now includes a black hole? Is that old news? I just found out about a year ago.
Those black holes just keep getting curiouser and curiouser...

scooter said...

here ya go Caprice!

story in the AJC about our bud, the I-75 zebra:

http://www.ajc.com/pets/content/pets/stories/2009/03/29/evidence_zebra.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab

Scooter

Caprice said...

Hi Scooter!
Thanks for the article.
Cute picture!

Bill said...

I live in Paulding county and when I was younger my mother, 2 sisters, and myself seen an African lion just outside the woods at a friends house.

We went to pick up my friend, who turned out to not be home, and we were shocked. No one believed me but all 4 of us STILL talk about it to this day.

This took place in the late 80's early 90's.

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scooter said...

Semba may have moved to the mountains?

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/stories/2009/06/26/big_cat_horse.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab