Berlin residents told to stay inside as suspected lioness on the loose
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Residents in Berlin have been told to stay inside while police try and track down a suspected lioness on the loose.
In a statement on Twitter posted in the early hours of this morning, the force urged people to ‘avoid leaving the house’ and to bring any pets inside, saying officers were at the scene ‘checking the situation’.
An update shared a few hours later said: “The escaped wild animal has NOT been found yet! We still ask you not to leave the house.
“If you see the animal, please call the emergency number 110!”
A press release said police received an emergency call at around midnight this morning ‘after sighting a free-roaming wild animal on Richard-Strauss-Weg in Kleinmachnow’.
“A mobile phone video was taken of the specific situation and presented to the police,” it explained.
“After examining the video material, an initial assessment of the wild animal is a lioness. The situation described is considered credible.
“As part of the urgent responsibility, the police immediately initiated search measures for the big cat and extensive measures to protect the population.
“For this purpose, more than 30 patrol cars from the Brandenburg police were in action at night.
“In addition, police helicopters from Berlin and Brandenburg as well as Berlin police forces were involved.
“During the night, the police alerted veterinarians, hunters and veterinarians, who provided expert support for the police operation.”
Police are still investigating the ‘origin the wild animal’, saying none of the tested animal husbandry facilities, such as animal parks, zoos, animal protection facilities or circuses, are missing such a creature.
Brandenburg police spokesperson Daniel Kiep told the broadcaster RBB: “Around midnight we received a notification that we couldn’t believe.
“Two passersby spotted an animal chasing after another. One was a wild boar and the other appeared to be a big cat, a lion. The two men recorded a video on their phones and even experienced police officers had to confirm that we are probably dealing with a lion.”
Officials remain on site, including officers from the West Police Department and riot police.
“We ask the population in the areas mentioned to act with appropriate caution and to avoid staying in the adjacent forest areas,” Brandenburg Police said.
“If you see the animal, seek shelter immediately and call the emergency number 110 to inform the police.”