Recently, the news in and around Oklahoma is the apparent reappearance of mountain lions in regions experts swore would not have these particular felines. Others, swear that they have seen mysterious black panthers as well. Sometimes, despite the best scientific pronouncements, animals can be out of place.

It reminds me of back in the late 1970's in Altus, Oklahoma. In the middle of one summer night a strange and exotic sound covered the southwest Oklahoma town. A roaring lion is hard to be mistaken for anything else but a roaring lion. Then later, traveling down the main 'drag' looking to the side as a vehicle with a group of teens is overtaking you. The teens are hooping and hollering, as they are often known to do when under an excess of high spirits, and the large mane of the lion is tousled by the wind as the car races past.
The large mane of the lion??????

Subsequent research has been difficult on this particular story. No one seems to want to talk in detail, perhaps for fear of reprisal for admittance to what was no doubt an illegal action. I suppose this aspect; it might be that in that time and place ownership of one (or two as some claim) African lions was less encumbered by legalities. Some claim the owners ran one or two bars in the community, known as either the "Bamboo" or the "Upper Room." Others claim the lion came from a nearby community where the lion was a mascot for the local team.
African lions are not easy to care for requiring large amounts of food, space, and social interaction. Some have suggested the lion(s) was donated to a zoo or wildlife preserve. For more information on lions check out "Why Lions Don't Make Good Pets".

If anyone has a memory of this 'mystery', please contact me: marilynahudsonATyahoo.com

[copyright 2005]

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