Berlin residents report hearing lion roars in the middle of the night as a desperate search continues for a lioness running through the city.
German police officers armed with guns are roaming the southern districts of the capital today after two locals saw an escaped lioness chasing a wild boar in the Kleinmachno suburb early on Thursday.
Last night, locals reported seeing the lioness and hearing a lion roar in the Zehlendorf area near the city limits, Berlin police said.
Officers armed with guns, night-vision goggles and drones scoured the area through the night, but said they had not found the lioness as the search continued today.
Residents living in the southern districts of the city – Kleinmachno, Telto and Stansdorf – have been advised to stay in their homes and keep all doors and windows closed. But some Berliners decided to defy the order today and walk their dogs in a forest in the Zehlendorf area.
Today it’s time for animal track experts to join the hunt for the lioness as police use helicopters, drones and infrared cameras to track down the dangerous predator.
A video on Twitter showed a lioness walking through leaves in Kleinmachno
The police car drives out of the forest where the hunting cat is supposed to be
Panzer! German police use a Survivor ‘Panzerwagen’, an armored vehicle, in a search for a rogue lioness south of Berlin on July 20, 2023.
Residents living in the southern districts of the city – Kleinmachno, Telto and Stansdorf – have been advised to stay in their homes and keep all doors and windows closed. But some defiant Berliners decided to defy the order today and walk their dogs in a forest in the Zehlendorf area (pictured).
A lioness roaming the streets of Berlin is what police believe is a danger zone
Kleinmachno Mayor Michael Grubert told local public broadcaster RBB late Thursday that authorities would comb the woods near Kleinmachno and Zehlendorf on Friday with ‘professional animal track searchers’.
‘We have to say that this cannot go on for days,’ he said, adding that he expected the search to be ‘intense’ on Friday.
There have been a series of sightings of the lioness – by locals, police officers and firefighters – but each time, the poacher escapes their sight and they are unable to locate it again.
German police spokesman Daniel Kip said: ‘In the summer, you often hear about crocodiles swimming in lakes and then it turns out it was a big duck. In this case, it is obviously completely real.
‘We are dealing with a lioness that roams freely in Telto, Stansdorf and Kleinmachnow.’
Around 7 pm last night, another sighting of a lioness in a forest in Kleinmachno district prompted the police officers to take action.
“We are in a hot phase now, he has just been spotted,” a police officer told a local resident, German newspaper Bild reported.
Joggers were barred from entering the woodland by officers, as the search appeared to be ‘getting heated’ in the evening with one officer shouting ‘get out of the wood’ to the joggers.
Police joined professional hunters and vets, armed with tranquilizer guns and pistols, in an attempt to safely capture the lioness – believed to be a personal pet – but to no avail.
They said on Friday morning that the search was unsuccessful during the night and was continuing. They are urged to call emergency numbers if they see the animal.
Officials stressed that effective measures will ‘continue until the risk to the population is ruled out’.
No zoo has reported a missing lioness, raising questions about where the animal could have come from.
Police were alerted early Thursday after two men chased what appeared to be a lioness after chasing a wild boar down a road less than three miles from the German capital.
Hunters and veterinarians are said to be helping to find the animal in Germany
A woman carries a tranquilizer gun as members of the veterinary office search for the lioness
Two passers-by found the cat in the middle of the night in the Kleinmachno suburb, southwest of Berlin.
They have shared mobile phone footage of the animal with police, who believe the images are genuine, Kleinmachno Mayor Michael Grubert said at a news conference.
‘Even experienced officers had to conclude that it was probably a lioness,’ a police spokesman told local broadcaster RBB.
Kirstin Schröder, a police spokesman for the Brandenburg region near Berlin, said the animal was later spotted by police officers.
Local authorities were seen driving armored vehicles – ‘Panzerwagen’ – through residential areas as a helicopter with thermal imaging circles overhead.
Thorsten Thaddy was out for a morning jog in Kleinmachno yesterday when he was stopped by the police, who told him a wild animal was roaming the nearby forest.
‘I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous. Because it’s a different caliber than a normal dog or other pet that escaped,’ he said. ‘So I’m running home now.’
Kleinmachno Mayor Michael Grubert said this is not the time to be ‘jogging in the woods’.
A police spokesman was forced to admit: ‘We don’t know where it came from.’
Since no zoo or circus has reported a missing lioness, police believe she must be an escaped pet.
Once the animal is found, it will likely be tranquilized with a tranquilizer and taken to an animal shelter, the mayor said. But Grubert added that the lioness would be shot if there was an immediate danger to human life.
Brandenburg police said anyone crossing paths with cats should ‘seek safety immediately and call the police’.
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