Police conducting a search for suspected lioness in Berlin’s outskirts after midnight alert
At least 30 police cars and veterinarians deployed for the search
Police treating it as a genuine situation; Circus director skeptical of lioness presence
Police in the south-western outskirts of Berlin are conducting a search for what they believe to be a lioness. They received calls and a video report about the wild animal around midnight on Wednesday, prompting an immediate response.
At least 30 police cars have been deployed, and veterinarians have been called in to assist in the search for the big cat.
Residents are being urged to remain indoors until the animal is located. Kleinmachnow Mayor Michael Grubert stated that the initial reports of the animal sighting could not be confirmed, but an officer involved in the search later spotted it.
A video shared on Twitter, which the police believe to be authentic, also seemed to depict a lioness in a densely forested residential area of Kleinmachnow.
The source of the animal remains unclear, as local zoos, animal sanctuaries, and circuses have denied any lions escaping from their facilities.
According to police spokesperson Daniel Keip, the reported lioness sighting in Teltow, Stahnsdorf, and Kleinmachnow is not a typical case of mistaken identity, as often happens with crocodile reports in swimming lakes during summer. Authorities are treating this as a genuine situation of a lioness freely roaming the area.
However, circus director Michel Rogall is skeptical about the situation and doubts the presence of a lioness in the region. He stated that no circus with wild animals was on the road in eastern Germany, and there wouldn’t be any escapes if such a circus existed.
Residents have been cautioned to remain indoors and keep their pets with them. Police have advised people to avoid the forest and seek immediate shelter if they encounter the lioness. The search is primarily focused on a large area adjacent to a wood, where people often walk their dogs, as authorities believe the lioness might be resting there.
Despite the situation, officials are urging calm, emphasizing that there is no panic or hysteria. Hunters with tranquilizer guns are part of the search team, along with veterinarians and police officers. Helicopters, drones, heat-seeking cameras, and an armored vehicle are deployed to find the elusive animal.
Florian Eiserlo from the Four Paws animal welfare organization advises people not to panic if they encounter the animal. Instead, they should stay calm, stand still, and head to a safe area like a car or building.