Hakuna matata

April 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm 4 comments

I thought things were exciting here when Audie went after a woodchuck in our front yard. And while a churlish chuck may put a few holes in my boy’s dog suit, it isn’t likely to carry him off and eat him for dinner.

It could have been worse. In fact, it could have been a lot worse. On Saturday KSAX reported:

Jessica Dahl saw the lions out her front window after she heard her dog barking.

“I looked out and he was lunging at something.  I looked out the front door and then I saw the lions,” Dahl explained.

Lions? In Bemidji, Minnesota? It’s not unusual for wolves to prey on dogs in Minnesota, but lions are quite rare here. Especially African lions.

Two 6-month-old lion cubs were brought back to Paul Bunyan Animal Land in Bemidji Thursday afternoon after they escaped from their pen and were found reportedly wrestling with a dog in a yard in southern Beltrami County Thursday around 10:30 a.m.

Marjan and Aslan escaped from a temporary pen during spring cleaning. The lion cubs, who are described as being quite tame, played with the dog without hurting it. When staff from Paul Bunyan Animal Land responded with sheriff’s deputies, the lions came when they were called and followed the ‘rescuer’s back to their cage.

This isn’t the first time animals have escaped from the facility, and the Beltrami Sheriff’s will be working with Minnesota DNR to investigate.

I’m not sure what I’d do if I discovered a couple of lions (African or otherwise) playing with my dogs. Fortunately there aren’t any wild animal parks nearby and it’s illegal to own or keep wild animals as pets in Goodhue County.

African lions in Bemidji, MN


Entry filed under: dogs, minnesota, wildlife.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rob McMillin  |  April 20, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I have a story about this but it will have to end up on Facebook for technical reasons.

  • 2. Rob McMillin  |  April 21, 2010 at 12:26 am

    For the Facebook’d, you may go here.

  • 3. H. Houlahan  |  April 21, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Roadside “zoos” so suck.

    This one, surprise, is not accredited. Marjan and Aslan were born solely in order to bring in more customers with the kyooot. They will be lucky to end their days in a barred menagerie cage. Canned hunt or other more dramatic bad end is more likely.

    Every big cat species they keep, they have pictures of kyoot cubs. One of their cougars shows signs of metabolic bone disease (caused by not enough calcium, too much phosphorus in a bad diet), but I guess the gonads still work, so all is well.

    But they can’t even keep the critters confined?! Wonder if they even knew the cubs were missing.

  • 4. ruthcrisler  |  April 24, 2010 at 6:38 am

    A friend of worked briefly for a mobile zoo of sorts whose base of operations was along a major road in the city. One morning, upon unlocking the door, the mountain lion cub ran right out. It had gotten loose overnight. He said it chased cars for a bit until he was able to lure it back. Don’t know if it played with any dogs.

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