BERLIN: Police have warned the public to stay indoors on the southwestern edge of Berlin while they search for a wild animal in the area believed to be an escaped lion.
A police operation began overnight with two helicopters deployed and was expanded in the early hours of Thursday (Jul 20) as a hundred officers hunted for the animal, said a police spokesperson in Brandenburg, the sparsely populated state surrounding the German capital.
“We are currently working on the assumption that the animal is a lioness,” the spokesperson told Reuters via telephone.
The search area currently covers the Brandenburg municipalities of Kleinmachnow and Stahnsdorf.
Earlier Thursday, Berlin police had tweeted that the area on high alert included the capital’s southern edge.
Germany’s federal office for civil protection issued a warning to locals, also advising them to keep any pets indoors.
Asked where the wild animal may have come from, the police spokesperson said it was not clear. He said there were a number of facilities in the area that could keep a lion, such as zoos and a circus, but that none of these places had reported a missing animal.