A recent Cryptomundo post has me considering another, more fantastic explanation for periodic sightings of lions roaming Oklahoma and other states.
During the Pleistocene, a cousin to the African lion (Panthera leo leo), known as Panthera leo atrox, roamed North America. As with many of its contemporaries (Columbian Mammoth, Ground Sloths, Western Camel...) this feline died out and is only known through the work of paleontologists.
But consider for a moment, if you will, the slim possiblity that such a creature could have survived the last Ice Age. Perhaps existing in small enclaves that grow ever smaller with mankind's increasingly pervasive presence.
True, it's about as likely as a Paris Hilton Oscar nod, but still completely feasible. These animals existed a mere 40,000 years ago. Many far-older creatures continue to roam the globe. So, why not Panthera leo atrox, the American Lion?