Lion on the Loose in Berlin

a lioness

Berlin on High Alert: Authorities search for a lioness on the loose in the city Image: Shutterstock/ EcoPrint

Panic spread through the streets of Berlin as authorities issued emergency alerts to thousands of residents, warning them to stay indoors after a lion was spotted on the outskirts of the city. The alarming incident prompted swift action from the German police and other authorities, initiating a massive search operation to locate and secure the wild animal.

The drama unfolded in the early morning hours when two individuals reported witnessing a shocking scene: a lioness chasing a wild boar through the streets, less than five kilometres from the bustling capital. The witnesses managed to capture the astonishing sight on their phones, and even experienced policemen had to acknowledge the possibility that a lioness was indeed on the loose.

Brandenburg Police, responsible for the region surrounding Berlin, immediately took to social media to inform the public about the escape of the wild animal. They urged residents of Berlin’s southern suburbs to remain indoors and refrain from venturing outside until further notice. The search operation, equipped with helicopters and ground teams, focused on the areas of Kleinmachnow, Teltow, and Stahnsdorf, where the lioness was last seen.

‘We ask you not to leave your houses,’ the official police statement on Twitter read, emphasising the seriousness of the situation. Pet owners were also urged to keep their animals indoors to prevent any potential incidents.

As the search continued, authorities were left puzzled about the lioness’s origin. Germany is not the natural habitat for lions, and no reports of missing animals from local zoos or wildlife refuges had been received. The possibility of a privately owned exotic pet escaping was also considered, but no leads had yet surfaced.

The search operation enlisted dozens of officers, drones scouring the skies, and even the expertise of a veterinarian and two hunters. Despite these efforts, the elusive feline managed to evade capture, causing anxiety and concern among Berlin residents.

Officials reassured the public that, if and when the lioness is found, they plan to sedate her with a tranquilizer and transport her to an appropriate animal shelter.

In the meantime, experts from the ‘Vier Pfoten’ (Four Paws) animal welfare organisation advised locals on how to react if they encountered the lioness. The key, they explained, was to remain calm and composed. Individuals should stand still and slowly move towards a safe area, such as a car or a building, to minimise the risk of confrontation.

The situation also elicited memories of previous encounters with wild animals on the loose in Germany. In 2019, a deadly cobra roamed free in the town of Herne, leading authorities to caution residents to keep their windows closed and avoid tall grass. A few years earlier, in 2016, a lion escaped its enclosure in the city of Leipzig, forcing zookeepers to make a difficult decision to protect public safety.

As authorities continue their relentless pursuit, Berliners remain vigilant, hopeful that the lioness will soon be safely captured and relocated. Until then, the message to ‘stay indoors’ echoes through the city, as residents await news of the elusive feline’s fate.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!