"Be very, very careful:" After seeing video, big cat expert thinks 'Milwaukee Lion' is a cougar, and a pet

MILWAUKEE -- Since receiving an initial call on Monday, July 20th regarding a possible lion near Garfield and Palmer in Milwaukee, MPD has taken about two dozen calls from concerned citizens who say they've seen the lion. MPD says all reported sightings have been on the city's north side -- and officers have investigated each call. So far, nothing has been found. Is it possible the 'Milwaukee Lion' is in someone's basement? That's what one large cat expert says could be the case. Not because it's hiding there -- but because that's its home.

The possible lion in Milwaukee was captured on video -- but only for a couple of seconds.

One exotic feline expert says that video could contain the clues that could help solve this mystery.

Jill Carnegie has been taking care of big cats for the last 43 years -- at "Valley of the Kings."

"We only have 10 acres, but everybody fits. We just take in the misfits from all over," Carnegie said.

Valley of the Kings is home for dozens of exotic felines.

While not on her property -- Carnegie says she knows exactly what has been seen in Milwaukee.

"I feel very confident it is a male cougar. You tell by the size. It's a very well-fed cougar," Carnegie said.

Carnegie says while the species has been seen in Wisconsin before, she doubts a possible mountain lion on the loose in Milwaukee has lived its life in the wild.

"I believe truly that it is somebody's pet," Carnegie said.

In fact, several of the cats in her sanctuary once lived in basements -- including a mountain lion picked up during a drug raid in Chicago.

"We get them from governmental seizures, people's ex pets," Carnegie said.

Carnegie says she would expect a wild cat to look leaner -- and the video was filmed at an odd time. The video was recorded at around 10:00 a.m. Monday -- at a time when wild cats tend to be laying low.

Carnegie says there is a real possibility the cat is back at a home where it came from -- but if it is still on the loose, Carnegie says it should be taken seriously.

"Cougars are very dangerous with children, pets. Kids should be inside. If you have your dog outside, bring him in the house. Be very, very careful," Carnegie said.

Meanwhile, an MPD spokesman said this in a statement to FOX6 News Wednesday evening:

"MPD officers have been advised that, if a lion is located, they should not attempt to capture it but should call for additional resources who will follow the animal until it can safely be put down.

Animal experts have advised that no attempts should be made to capture the animal, as it may be a dangerous predator.

It is the priority of the Milwaukee Police Department to maintain the safety of the public and of our officers at all times."