- By Kathryn Armstrong
- BBC News
German authorities have called off their search for a suspected lioness on the outskirts of Berlin after finding no evidence of a big cat.
Police searched for more than a day after being tipped off by members of the public about the wildlife – but found no trace.
After speaking to experts, they now believe the creature is a wild boar.
No DNA material such as paw-prints or animal droppings were found in the areas where the animal was found.
The frantic search was sparked by a short video shot by a member of the public early Thursday morning. It appeared to show a wild animal, possibly a lion, roaming in a forest area in the town of Kleinmagno.
As the search widened, two police officers reported seeing a “big cat” 20 m (65 ft) away in one day.
But at a press conference on Friday, Kleinmachno Mayor Michael Grubert said “everything points to it not being a lion”.
He held up the photos, which proved that the animal in the video did not have the long, curved neck of lions.
And what appears to be a long tail with a bob in the video may actually be a shadow caused by vegetation, Meyer said.
“There is no serious risk,” Mr Grubert said, adding that police would be on alert if the situation changed.
Meanwhile, Kleinmachno city spokeswoman Martina Bellack said two experts – including one from South Africa – had been called in to examine the footage.
“They both came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a lion,” she said.
Another expert told Berlin’s local radio station RBB that from the footage he saw, the animal resembled a pig, which is common in the region.
At one point on Friday, 120 police officers and wildlife experts were involved in the search.
Drones, helicopters and thermal imaging cameras were also used before the search was called off.
Around a dozen animals were reported to police overnight, including in the affluent Zehlendorf area within Berlin’s city limits.
The officers were not amused when the youth started blaring loud roaring lion sounds over a loudspeaker near the area where the manhunt was underway.
“This does not help the local community or the police in the search for the animal,” police spokeswoman Kerstin Schroeder told RBB.
Residents were advised to stay inside, keep their pets with them and avoid wooded areas.
The experts also gave advice on how to deal with wildlife if someone comes across it, stand still, and stay out of sight.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”