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Friday February 5th, 2016 5:23PM

HCSO: No overnight lion sightings

By Ken Stanford Reporter
MURRAYVILLE - The Hall County Sheriff's Office reported no new "lion sightings" overnight following new reports that came in during the day Wednesday.

A Gearin Road woman is the latest person in the Murrayville area to report a lion on the loose in the neighborhood.

Hilary Hamilton says she spotted it near her house about 8:30 Wednesday morning as she was leaving for work, and "I looked over there and I thought 'what is that over there?'"

Hamilton said it was "an animal the size of calf with a long tail on it, three- to-four feet long...and it was definitely a lion."

No chance that it was a coyote or fox?

"No, no, no, no, no, no," she said, laughing, "we have those in the area and I know what they look like."

Hamilton said she went to get her camera "and it startled me then. It kept looking back at me and wagging its tail."

Hamilton said she lost sight of the animal as it slowly walked into the woods in the direction of a creek on their property. Hamilton says she and her husband have cows on their property and they've accounted for all of their animals so the big cat has apparently not harmed any of them.

Hamilton said she lives about a block from where the earlier sightings were reported, before daybreak near the Hall-Lumpkin county line early Tuesday and early Wednesday. Hamilton said she was unaware of those reports until Wednesday morning when she was talking on the phone with her husband about what she had seen. Hamilton said she reported the incident to the Hall County Sheriff's Office but by the time deputies arrived, the animal was no where to be found.

Sheriff's office spokesman Jeff Strickland said Tuesday deputies searched the area after getting the first call about 5:00 Tuesday morning and turned up nothing. They also checked a game preserve about five miles from the scene and people there reported that all of their animals were accounted for. (See separate stories.)

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