| Animals |

Escaped Lion on the Prowl in the Tampa Area

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If you live in the Tampa area, you may not want to answer your door if someone rings the bell and says it's a candygram for you. Because it actually very well may be a lion.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is saying that a lion has escaped the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Spring Hill and is currently roaming the Tampa area.

Officials do say that the escaped lion is still on the sanctuary's grounds. So that knock on the door is probably really just the UPS guy. Or... is... it... ?

The PCSO is assisting wildlife officials in trying to find the lion.

Details are sketchy at the moment. All the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will say is that the lion somehow got away from the sanctuary, which is located at 22005 Bowman Road in Spring Hill -- which is about 30 miles north of Tampa.

One report had said that the escaped lion is a 7-year-old female. But according to FWC spokesman Gary Morse, the escaped lion is actually one of the males.

The latest reports say that the lion is still on the actuary grounds and is not posing any immediate danger to people or pets in the area. Officials say they have located the lion but have yet to capture it. A perimeter has been set up around the area where the lion is believed to be.

The Survival Outreach-Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to providing permanent responsible homes to abused, unwanted and abandoned exotic animals to all species."

Messages left at the sanctuary for a comment were not immediately returned.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

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