First things first. This is a mountain lion, otherwise known as a cougar, puma, or at formal events, Puma concolor couguar:
This is a white Pit Bull, currently known as Simba to shelter staff:
It’s very important to know the difference, especially if you’re the kind of person who keeps guns around the house and is likely to use them. The reason why is that a man in the Milwaukee area, apparently thinking that he was shooting the first, shot the second instead.
Granted, emotions were running a little bit high. On Monday, a Milwaukee resident shot video on their cell phone that seemed to show a mountain lion prowling around a residential area. Authorities have been searching the area for the animal, despite expressing skepticism about whether the video really showed a mountain lion. Police Chief Edward Flynn described it as showing a “lion-ish creature,” and he described it as “theoretically possible” that a mountain lion had made its way south from northern Wisconsin where they usually stay.
Still, “theoretically possible” was enough for authorities to put the public on notice and start combing the neighborhood for signs of the animal. Yesterday, police got a call from someone reporting that he saw what he thought was a lion or a cougar walking past his home. A few minutes after that, another caller in the same area reported seeing a man fire one shot at a Pit Bull walking along the street.
“The bullet went through his leg, fractured his bone,” said Karen Sparapani, Executive Director of Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission.
The dog’s owners have yet to be found, and the shooter hasn’t been identified. In the meantime, staff have affectionately nicknamed the dog “Simba.” He’ll be fine, but will be in a cast and taking painkillers for about six weeks.
Let’s try to be clear on the difference between Pit Bulls and mountain lions in the future. There’s a difference between Pit Bulls and mountain lions, but apparently one man in Milwaukee wasn’t quite clear on that.