Unidentified Animal Stumps Officials in Norwalk

City officials in Norwalk are seeking answers after video footage captured a large, unidentified animal roaming the streets of a residential neighborhood.

At first glance, the answer seems clear. To the naked, untrained eye, the animal appears to be a mountain lion, which is exactly what people initially thought it was. But after consulting with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the city has now confirmed that the beast is not a mountain lion at all. It’s not a cougar either. In fact, no one is quite sure what it is.

Craig Packer, a professor at the University of Minnesota's Lion Research Center, agrees. He thinks the animal resembles an African lion. A zoo official says it may be “some kind of “hybrid,” while state game warden, Don Nelson, thinks it could simply be a large dog.

It’s possible that the Norwalk incident could be part and parcel of a larger problem related to California’s drought. Experts like Tim Dunbar, executive director of the Sacramento-based Mountain Lion Foundation, have said wild animals are increasingly moving down from foothills into residential neighborhoods in search of water. 

The creature has not been seen since the footage was first captured on July 29. Officials have said they are still investigating the incident. In the meantime, sheriff’s patrol has heightened its presence in the area.

What do you think it is?

Watch the video here.


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