Dhe people in the south of Berlin were surprised by an unusual warning early in the morning on Thursday: the police are looking for an escaped predator. According to the information, it is most likely a lioness. The search is on in the area around the small Brandenburg town of Kleinmachnow on the southern outskirts of the capital – where wild boars usually flit through the woods.
The population was informed of the possible danger with the help of warning apps. The police also warned them about the escaped predator with loudspeaker announcements. People were asked to refrain from walking in the woods, a spokesman for the West Police Department said early in the morning.
The police classify the video recording of a free-roaming wild animal near Kleinmachnow south of Berlin as credible. In the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the police received an emergency call around midnight after sighting a free-roaming wild animal on Richard-Strauss-Weg in Kleinmachnow, the Brandenburg police department west said in writing. “A mobile phone video was taken of the specific situation and presented to the police.” After examining the video material, an initial assessment of the wild animal was a lioness. “The situation described is considered credible.”
No lioness goes missing in zoos
However, many questions are still open: So far, the police have no information on where the animal could have come from. Zoos, animal parks, circuses and animal protection facilities were checked. According to the police, however, no lioness is missing there. The search operation began during the night. The police assume that the animal is in the Teltow, Kleinmachnow and Stahnsdorf area.
The warning from the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance also includes the south of Berlin, such as Steglitz, Marienfelde and Neukölln. The Federal Office recommends not letting pets outside and informing yourself about the course of the search operation in the media.
Drones used for search
The police started a search for the big cat. More than 30 patrol cars were on duty that night, as well as helicopters. Police forces from Berlin also moved out. Veterinarians, hunters and veterinarians supported the operation, according to the police. Drones are also used. That said the spokesman for the West Police Department, Daniel Keip. During the search, the protection of the emergency services has top priority. The police officers therefore did not go through the forest in a row, as is often seen when looking for people, the spokesman said. Drones should support the search.
“Sightings will be reviewed and areas will be temporarily cordoned off,” the spokesman said. The police are currently checking several wooded areas, which are also bordered by residential areas with single-family homes.
Day care centers open, children are not allowed in the garden
In Kleinmachnow, helicopters were already in action during the night. According to a dpa reporter, everything in the small town seemed completely normal on Thursday morning. There was hardly any sign of the search for a dangerous predator. Cyclists were out and about, dog walkers, people on their way to work or to go shopping. Work was done on construction sites.
A spokeswoman for the community said in the morning that the daycare centers in Kleinmachnow were open, but the children were not allowed out in the garden. City Hall will also remain open. The traders at the market were advised not to set up any stands. “There are hardly any people there,” said the spokeswoman.
The police operation continued in the morning. “We are on site with massive forces to protect the population,” said a spokeswoman for the West Police Department in the morning. The police called on people to be careful and avoid walking in the woods. But there is no curfew, it said. Police officers are also on the move in the nearby small town of Teltow.
A spokeswoman for the district of Potsdam-Mittelmark said there were a veterinarian and two hunters with weapons on site. When the animal is found, a decision is made whether to use an anesthetic or shoot it. Finding the predator is a big challenge.
According to the police, they found out about the wild animal through witnesses. These would have recorded videos that showed, for example, how the big cat hunted and killed a wild boar.