Wild Mountain Lion Heard Outside Animal Sanctuary

Friday, August 31st 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

Large cats are on the prowl in Green Country. Over the past few weeks, there have been sightings of mountain lions on the move in Broken Arrow. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports one was heard calling out to other big cats inside an animal sanctuary.

At Safari's Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, employees and volunteers are used to hearing sounds from a lot of animals. But it was an animal sound a couple of nights ago that really got Ty Thomas' attention.

"I thought it was pretty cool. A little bone chilling, different and out of the ordinary, but cool at the same time," Ty Thomas of Safaris Sanctuary said.

Thomas heard a mountain lion, but it wasn't from one of the five cougars at the sanctuary. The sound was coming from outside the facility.

"Mountain lions don't have much of a roar. They have more like a scream kind of, a lot of times it's like a blood curdling scream, this one was not so much blood curdling it was a little more mellow," said Thomas.

Thomas says there is no mistaking what he heard. He grew up around big cats while his dad was raising them in New York, including mountain lions, and he also worked to train mountain lions at a zoo. Thomas believes the animal he heard may have been a female mountain lion in heat. Or may have had its habitat disrupted.

"With all the construction that's going on, it's kind of pushing the cats our way a little more," Thomas said.

The big cats are native to Oklahoma, but it's rare to hear or see one, and Thomas says the animals will mostly stay to themselves, away from people. At any rate, he'll keep a watchful eye and ear out in case the big cat returns.

There have been sightings of mountain lions in Oklahoma in recent years, but most are in the southwestern part of the state or out in the Panhandle.

To learn more about Safari's Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, click here.

Watch the video: Mountain Lion On The Move