Paws at the lights – lion spotted roaming streets of city

Please paws when you reach the lights! While they usually roam the plains of Africa, it appeared that one lion wanted to take a city break.

Columbus, the lion, taking a stroll through the streets of Johannesburg

Columbus, the lion, taking a stroll through the streets of Johannesburg

The wild cat was spotted strolling through the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, and although it was a disconcerting sight, locals were swiftly reassured the situation was under control.

The lion, named Columbus, was in fact starring in a local film production and had been borrowed from a nearby lion park, although the film company failed to notify the authorities.

According to the Johannesburg Roads Agency, the filming had not been cleared and the film company took a risk by releasing the lion into the city, without previously getting approval to close several roads.

Columbus, the lion, taking a stroll through the streets of Johannesburg

Columbus, the lion, taking a stroll through the streets of Johannesburg

The JRA was contacted to find out if a movie, starring a fully-grown lion, was being filmed in the city and whether producers were given clearance by the company to close off roads in the area.

According to the lion park, it is not the first time that Columbus has courted the limelight and has previously appeared in a film named Blended and also numerous adverts.

Irvaan Dolley, from Ibiza, Spain, who witnessed the lion walk past, said: “It was a strange sight to see the lion strolling throught the city like that and my first thought was to run.

Columbus, the lion, resting on the boot of a car

Columbus, the lion, resting on the boot of a car

“But it swiftly turned out that the situation was under control and we weren’t in any danger, despite the lion being so close by.

“The lion was actually part of a film production taking place Johannesburg City Centre. So it wasn’t roaming around freely as expected on social media.”

Zanta Myeza, from the JRA, said: “We sit down with the JOC to get all the people who are involved into the same room – including the police department – to see if we all agree on something like that taking place.

Columbus, the lion, resting on the boot of a car

Columbus, the lion, resting on the boot of a car

“The people who were there were taking chances.”