The Berlin bear received prize money as the official symbol of Germany’s capital on Thursday. Authorities said a “free-roaming lioness” in the area led to an extensive search with more than 100 police officers, veterinarians and hunters as well as drones and helicopters involved in the attempt to catch the animal.
“People are encouraged to stay home if possible and not let their pets outside,” said A.J statement From the German municipality of Kleinmachnow, in the state of Brandenburg, where the first sighting of the animal was reported. Officials from the town of 20,000, 14 miles from central Berlin, said the lioness had been “causing a commotion” overnight since she was seen eating wild boar along the way.
The animal was not caught until Thursday evening local time, Brandenburg police he said in a statement That veterinarians, fishermen, helicopters and drones have been involved in the research. The search focused on the regions of Tilto, Kleinmachnau and Stahnsdorf, three small towns along Berlin’s southwestern border, where police had issued warnings about the animal.
“We ask the residents in the mentioned areas to exercise proper vigilance and avoid going into the nearby forested areas,” the police statement read. Those who see the animal should “seek shelter immediately” and call the police.
Police said in a statement that they had received reports around midnight on Wednesday that a wild boar was seen chasing and eating a wild boar in Kleinmachineau.
A short, grainy video of that scene, which was shared with police and then circulated on social media Thursday, shows a large wild cat feeding on a wild boar in a grassy area by the side of the road. Police said the animal in the video appeared to be a lioness, and described the possibility as “credible”.
Police said the search for the animal began immediately with the participation of Berlin and Brandenburg police forces and the use of helicopters. Riot police were on the scene to protect local residents.
Officials from the town of Kleinmachnau said their aim was to pacify and capture the animal rather than kill it. But the hunter was on his guard in case the animal was exposed to any danger.
A spokeswoman for the police in Brandenburg told the Associated Press that after the initial sighting and video, the animal was spotted by the police themselves. The mayor of Kleinmachnau and the police did not immediately respond to questions about the sightings. Officials said it was not possible to confirm other sightings reported by residents.
Authorities said the animal was likely in forested areas of Brandenburg.
It was not clear where the lion came from, as lions are not native to Germany. Although there are zoos, animal conservation centers and circuses in the area, police said none of them reported a lioness missing.
Online commenters expressed doubts that the animal in the video was a lion, but police said it most likely was.
Others enjoyed the chaos, and memes Abound: the Twitter page of Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national rail operator, chirp A helpful reminder that while indoor cats and small pets do not need their own tickets, larger pets, “other than companion lions,” require their own train tickets.