A lion is reportedly on the loose Friday in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. The Pasco County Sherriff’s Office said Friday that they are assisting with wildlife authorities in locating a lion that reportedly got loose from a Spring Hill wildlife sanctuary. Officials say the lion was reported missing around 11 a.m. EST. Search teams are out in full force trying to find the missing feline.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have launched an investigation into how the lion was able to escape from its own area.
The lion is thought to still be inside the premises of the sanctuary. However, authorities have yet to locate the missing cat.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary Morse said a lion somehow got away from the Survival Outreach Sanctuary, but no other details were immediately available per Fox News.
The FWC has sent five teams to the sanctuary as well as two other teams from the sheriff’s office, the spokesperson said.
“She’s not a threat to the community,” Sheriff’s spokeswoman Melanie Snow said. “She’s still in the sanctuary; she just got out of her enclosure.”
One thing that is known is the warning authorities have sent out advising residents living near the sanctuary to exercise caution and not to approach the lion if they happen to encounter it.
According to its website, the Survival Outreach Sanctuary houses large cats including cougars and tigers, as well as wolf dogs and other wildlife.