Emergencies: "There is no lioness" - the all-clear on the outskirts of Berlin

After more than 30 hours of searching, the supposed lioness in Berlin and Brandenburg turned out to be not quite as dangerous a wild boar.

Emergencies: "There is no lioness" - the all-clear on the outskirts of Berlin

After more than 30 hours of searching, the supposed lioness in Berlin and Brandenburg turned out to be not quite as dangerous a wild boar. "According to all human judgment, we assume that it is not a lioness," said the mayor of the Brandenburg municipality of Kleinmachnow, Michael Grubert (SPD).

"There is no lioness." The Brandenburg police and the authorities in Berlin confirmed this assessment. The mayor said: "There is no acute risk."

There hasn't been a single clue since 5 a.m. Thursday morning that led to the assumption that the animal being looked for could actually be a lioness, a predator or a large wild cat, Grubert said. The warnings to the population were withdrawn via apps like Katwarn, and both police forces ended their operations.

The search for the alleged predator near the city limits of Berlin began on Thursday night. It was triggered by a video on which a lioness was suspected. The video snippet made the rounds on social networks on Thursday. The investigating authorities assessed the video as genuine. According to a spokeswoman for the authorities, police officers said they had also seen a wild animal "secured".

Danger could not be ruled out at the beginning

According to the mayor, the entire search operation was based on these two clues. The police officers who saw the video first could not have ruled out a hazard - so the search began. Only later was the video shown to experts for an assessment. For Saturday, the community of Kleinmachnow is still expecting the analysis of feces and hair found during the search. The Brandenburg police announced that they would be more present in the region in the coming days.

It was initially unclear how high the costs for the mission would be and who would have to bear them. In addition to dozens of police officers, veterinarians and the Berlin city hunters were also involved in the search, which lasted more than 30 hours. Today there were police officers in the forest with submachine guns and protective shields. Helicopters, drones and numerous thermal imaging cameras were also used.

The operation has not yet been evaluated, so no statements can be made about the total costs at the moment, the Brandenburg Ministry of the Interior said on request. The deputy head of the German police union, Heiko Teggatz, criticized the costs in the "Bild" newspaper: "This operation is undoubtedly the most expensive safari that has ever existed in Germany's forests!" Such an operation quickly costs the taxpayer several 100,000 euros. The Berlin police did not give any specific information about the costs, this question is out of the question. The police had been asked for administrative assistance and responded accordingly.

The police union (GdP) considers the use to be understandable. The GdP federal chairman Jochen Kopelke said on request: "It is perfectly clear that the police will provide help if there is a dangerous situation due to an escaped wild animal."

Video meanwhile subjected to independent analyses

According to the mayor, the video has now been independently analyzed by two experts. It became clear that the hind legs of the animal on the video do not match a lioness, and the animal's posture when eating or drinking is not typical of a lioness. At the press conference, Grubert, visibly tense and exhausted after the excitement of the past few hours, showed corresponding comparison images. It initially remained unclear why the video was not evaluated more quickly as a crucial clue and the search measure was stopped earlier.

Hours before the decisive press conference, two experts had expressed their doubts very clearly. Berlin wildlife expert Derk Ehlert told RBB Inforadio that he only saw two wild boars running from left to right on the video. "I happen to hunt in the region myself and I know that the hunters have very good dogs there. It is completely unthinkable that the dogs would not have found anything if a wild boar was actually dissected there," said Achim Gruber, executive director of the Institute for Animal Pathology in Berlin, the dpa. At the beginning of the search, there was also talk of a cunning animal. "If a lioness had chewed up a wild boar there, the dogs would have found something," said Gruber.

Not everyone in the population believed in the lion theory on Thursday and Friday, many people exchanged lively views on the short, crucial video on social networks. A local resident told a dpa reporter near the search area on Friday that she was careful and didn't go into the forest with her dachshund at first - but she couldn't actually imagine a lioness between the trees.

FU scientist Gruber meanwhile made it clear that in his opinion the search operation was justified: "The measures are justified and justifiable in view of the justified initial suspicion. You have to drive the effort. This is an excellent exercise in civil protection and a great team effort by the police, veterinary authorities, hunters and drone people."

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