THE REGISTER-HERALD (BECKLEY, W.V.)
LEWISBURG, W.V. — Animal control officials say cameras will be installed on a tract of land in north-central Greenbrier County to document a hunter's claims that a free-roaming African lion has made a home near Cold Knob.
County officials are dealing with the unusual scenario because exotic animals do not come under the jurisdiction of the state Division of Natural Resources, county animal control officer Robert McClung said.
Motion-sensitive video cameras owned by the state Department of Environmental Protection and used to catch litterbugs and still cameras used by hunters could be placed on trees at Big Roaring Creek, he said.
“For the sake of the public’s safety, we need to confirm this,” McClung said. “If we can confirm that it’s a lion, plans are being made to use a bear trap to capture it.”
McClung said if the big cat is eventually captured, it will be turned over to the Tiger Mountain Refuge in Rainelle, a nonprofit group that takes in abandoned exotic pets.
While bow hunting last week on his 40-acre tract at Big Roaring Creek, Jim Shortridge, 72, of Frankford, said he watched the 300-pound male lion for about 40 minutes.
The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.V.