Runners in Berlin were banned from hitting the trails in a forested area outside of the city on Thursday as police pursued what they thought might have been a lioness on the loose. However, authorities on Friday discovered the phantom feline may have just been a wild boar.
The Daily Mail reported police officers banned a group of runners from a wooded area in the Kleinmachnow district, just outside Berlin’s city limits to the southwest, where the sighting of a lioness had been reported. One of the police officers dispatched in the search for the animal reportedly screamed, “Get out of the wood, quickly!” to one of the runners as the pursuit of the feline fugitive heated up.
—NIUS (@niusde_) July 20, 2023
The search also spoiled outings for many road runners in the area. Thorsten Thadney, who was out for a morning jog, was stopped by police and warned of the possible presence of a wild animal. “I have to be honest, I panicked a bit. Because it’s a different caliber compared to a normal dog or another pet that has run away,” the daily mail reported Thaddey as saying. “So I’m going to run home now.”
Kleinmachnow Mayor Michael Grubert seemed to share the sentiment in a statement as the search intensified, saying this was not the time “to go jogging in the woods.”
Residents in Berlin had reported hearing roars from a lioness in the middle of the night this week, and there have also been several sightings of an animal fitting the description of the pawed predator. However, each sighting ended with the animal vanishing without a trace.
— deer BSC (@lqzze1) July 20, 2023
Videos of supposed sightings shared online have fueled the belief that the animal in question was indeed a lioness. A police official told local broadcaster RBB that, based on some of the footage, “even experienced officers had to conclude (the animal) was probably a lioness.”
On Friday, however, CNN reported that officials had called off the search for the lioness, as evidence pointed to the likelihood of the animal in question being a wild boar.
After a day and a night of searching the woodlands south-west of Berlin, the mayor of Kleinmachnow says the Berlin lion probably wasn’t one. “With relatively high certainty the tendency is towards a wild boar”. pic.twitter.com/T9E0iIrFog
— Philip Oltermann (@philipoltermann) July 21, 2023
“After examining several hints, there was not a single indication concerning a lioness or a wild animal in the area,” Mayor Grubert told reporters.
The search efforts included two helicopters, hunters, a veterinarian, 30 police vehicles and 100 armed officers equipped with drones and infrared cameras.