Berlin's Lion Hunt Ends with Wild Boar Discovered
After an unsuccessful two-day hunt involving police, hunters, and veterinarians for the suspected lioness in a wooded suburb of Berlin, the local mayor announced on Friday that the animal may have been a wild boar all along.
Today, the police confirmed that no signs of a lion or any other large predator were found following extensive searches throughout Berlin, prompted by reports of a lioness sighting in the city streets on Wednesday evening.
Two experts who analysed the viral video footage that triggered the search informed the police that the animal in question was most likely a wild boar.
"At this point, all indications point to it not being a lioness," stated Michael Grubert, the Mayor of Kleinmachnow, where the presumed lioness was first spotted.
Local police from Kleinmachnow and Brandenburg state police jointly declared that there was no lion on the loose and consequently called off the search.
Around 220 individuals participated in the extensive search that lasted until Friday, including police officers, various veterinarians, and hunters, but they failed to find any trace of the elusive large predator.
The mysterious animal was initially sighted in a Berlin suburb on Wednesday evening, and the video of what appeared to be a lioness feeding in the bushes quickly gained popularity on social media.
Local authorities deemed the footage authentic and launched a massive search operation, urging residents to exercise caution, stay indoors, and avoid nearby forests. Additionally, residents were warned to be vigilant with their pets and livestock, refraining from letting them roam freely outdoors.
The intensive operation placed a considerable strain on the police's resources, involving helicopters and thermal imaging cameras, in addition to hundreds of officers.
While there are approximately two dozen registered lions in Brandenburg, the state bordering Berlin, they have all been accounted for. This led authorities to question whether the suspected lioness might have been held illegally, as no one came forward to claim ownership.
Wild boars are relatively common in Germany, and this is not the first time they have made headlines in Berlin. In 2020, a viral video showed a wild boar stealing a laptop from a sunbathing individual at a Berlin lake. People captured the scene on their smartphones as the person chased after the boar to retrieve their belongings.