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Neighbors Heard Right, ’Twas the Roar of a Puddy Tat - a Big Puddy Tat

December 15, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ People who reported hearing a lion roaring in the vicinity of an auto transmission shop weren’t crying wolf.

Police investigating the complaints Friday found a 6-month-old male lion at Yonkers Transmission, where it had been living for four days.

″He’s really more like a kitten, about 160 pounds,″ said Patsy Tartaglione, a partner in the shop in the New York suburb of Yonkers. ″But I guess the neighbors were complaining.″

Lt. Vincent Fontana said he was reluctant to send an officer to track down reports of lion roars.

″You get a lot of calls from people hearing things that don’t check out,″ he said.

But as calls persisted, Fontana dispatched Sgt. Brian Hill, who asked Tartaglione if he knew anything about a lion. Tartaglione said he had one in the back room.

He was vague about where the animal came from. ″A friend of a friend dropped him off,″ he said. ″I really don’t know who he was.″

The lion was given a sedative and taken to a holding pen at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Kathi Travers of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the cat would eventually go to a zoo.

Authorities did not file charges against Tartaglione.

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