''Mystery Animal'' has neighborhood guessing, talking

A California neighborhood is buzzing with talk and questions after grainy video was released showing the slow gait of a large cat-like animal walking along a street.

The first person who saw the animal early Tuesday thought it was a mountain lion, but that theory has been discounted by state wildlife officials, City Manager Jeff Hobbs told CBS Affiliate KTLA on Friday.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's "undisputed expert" determined the animal shown in the video is not a cougar, Hobbs wrote in an email headlined "'That's No Mountain Lion,' Says CA Dept Fish & Wildlife Expert."

"Department officials still cannot definitively identify the type of animal. They will continue to investigate," Hobbs wrote.

The densely populated area not far from the junction of the 5 and 605 freeways is some 20 miles from typical foothill mountain lion habitat.

The footage, which shows an animal with a large, curving tail, was posted on the city's Facebook page Friday.

A lion expert told the Los Angeles Times the animal in the footage resembled an African lion.

A representative of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife visited the neighborhood where the animal was spotted and talked to people about what to do if they see the animal again

Sheriff's Department patrol was elevated in the area, the station reports.


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