Sightings in Brandenburg: The police also want to have seen a free-roaming lioness – the big cat is likely to come from private ownership

Since midnight, the south of Berlin and neighboring Brandenburg has been confronted with an unusual emergency: a free-roaming lioness is said to be on the move there.

Sightings in Brandenburg: The police also want to have seen a free-roaming lioness – the big cat is likely to come from private ownership

Since midnight, the south of Berlin and neighboring Brandenburg has been confronted with an unusual emergency: a free-roaming lioness is said to be on the move there. A Twitter video shows an animal that could be a lioness in the headlights of a car at the edge of a thicket. According to a press release from the West Police Department in Brandenburg, the police viewed the mobile phone video, considered the animal to be a lioness and assessed the situation described as credible.

As a police spokesman told Stern, around 3 a.m., two police officers from their patrol car spotted the animal about 20 meters away and confirmed that it was apparently a lioness. Since then, reports have been received from citizens who want to have seen the animal. According to the spokesman, these are being systematically investigated.

The search for the animal has been going on since night: "More than 30 patrol cars from the Brandenburg police were deployed at night. Police helicopters from Berlin and Brandenburg and emergency services from the Berlin police were also involved," says the press release from the police department. Veterinarians, hunters and veterinarians are also involved as technical support.

The origin of the predator is unclear, as confirmed by a police spokesman when asked by stern. Zoos, animal parks, circuses and animal protection facilities were checked. According to the police, no lioness is missing there.

This indicates that the animal could have been kept by private individuals. But a spokeswoman for the veterinary office in Potsdam-Mittelmark assured stern: "In our district there are no lions." However, she could not answer whether there is even a registration or approval requirement in Brandenburg for lions. A query from stern to the responsible Ministry of the Environment in Potsdam has so far remained unanswered (as of 2:30 p.m.).

According to a press release, the animal protection organization "Four Paws" also assumes that the animal is kept privately. "Incidents like these could be avoided if there were finally uniform nationwide regulations regarding the private keeping and trade of exotic animal species," said Nadine Ronco Alarcón, federal policy officer at the organization. There are simply species that are not suitable for private keeping.

"Pro Wildlife" also demands: "The Federal Ministry of Agriculture is currently working on a revision of the animal protection law. This is the opportunity to establish a positive list for pets. This would regulate which animals are suitable for private keeping and which are not," said Katharina Lameter from the wildlife protection organization.

The mayor of the municipality of Kleinmachnow, Michael Grubert (SPD), has called on citizens to be careful in the search for an escaped wild animal. Panic is not appropriate, he told "rbb24" on Thursday morning. Police believe the animal they are looking for is a lioness.

Citizens should scale back their activities outside the home, Grubert said. "I wouldn't jog," he gave an example. Children shouldn't go out on their bikes either. However, he assumes that there is no direct danger for the citizens of the Kleinmachnow community and that the police have the situation under control.

Grubert told "rbb24" that according to his information everything was done to stun the lioness but not to kill it. "That would only be an extreme emergency."

Other sources: West Police Department, Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment, "Four Paws", "Pro Wildlife".

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