Experts on animal tracks joined the hunt Friday for an elusive and potentially dangerous animal — suspected to be a lioness — spotted on the edge of Berlin as the search stretched into a second day, authorities said.
Police used helicopters, drones and infrared cameras to search for the animal, with a vet and hunters also part of the effort, The Associated Press reported. They were first alerted to the animal in Kleinmachnow, just outside Berlin's city limits, around midnight on Wednesday when people reported what appeared to be a big cat chasing a wild boar.
The informants also provided a video. Based on that and a subsequent sighting of their own, the police concluded that the animal was apparently a lioness. But it proved elusive in the flat, wooded area on the boundary between Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg.
Kleinmachnow Mayor Michael Grubert told local public broadcaster rbb late Thursday that authorities would try to comb the forest on Friday with “professional animal track searchers.”
“We have to say that this can't carry on for days,” he said, adding that he expected the search to “intensify” on Friday.
Police in Brandenburg state tweeted Friday morning that the search was unsuccessful during the night and was continuing. They urged people to call an emergency number if they see the animal.
Police have said that none of the zoos, animal shelters, circuses or other facilities they checked was missing a lioness, and authorities say they have no information on one being privately owned in the area. Grubert says the aim is to catch the animal, if necessary by tranquilizing it.