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German police conclude search for suspected lion roaming near Berlin

Authorities who reviewed video footage of the animal determined it may have just been a wild boar.
German police conclude search for suspected lion roaming near Berlin
Posted at 9:34 AM, Jul 21, 2023

German authorities determined Friday that there is no longer a danger to residents on the outskirts of Berlin, where an apparent lioness was spotted roaming earlier this week. 

Police said a widespread search turned up no evidence of the big cat, and experts who analyzed video footage of the animal believe it may have just been a wild boar. 

Authorities were first alerted Thursday by several residents who said they'd seen what appeared to be a lion chasing another animal just outside Berlin city limits. Some of the informants also provided footage, which the police reviewed and determined a lioness was on the loose. 

Residents in the area were warned of the situation and urged to limit time outdoors as an elusive search was underway.

Helicopters, drones, and infrared cameras were used to survey the area where the animal was reportedly seen, but no lion was found. Police also brought in veterinarians and hunters to aid in the search operation.

"The systematic search by the regulatory and veterinary offices together with hunters and supported by the police did not yield any clues for the animal, despite tips from the public," the Brandenburg Police Department said in a statement. "The use of technical means such as helicopters, drones and thermal imaging cameras, as well as a very large number of police personnel, did not bring any new findings that point to a lioness."

Some estimates predict the entire search operation may have cost up to $100,000. Authorities said they will still remain vigilant should additional sightings be brought to their attention.

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