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Authorities cancel Berlin lioness alarm, saying they have found no evidence of a predator

Authorities have determined that there is “no acute danger” to people in an area on the outskirts of Berlin where a potentially dangerous animal was seen.

BERLIN (AP) — Authorities determined Friday there was “no acute danger” to people in an area outside Berlin where a potentially dangerous animal was seen and said they no longer believe a lioness is on the loose.

A search turned up no sign of such a predator and experts who analyzed a video concluded it may have been a wild boar, they said.

Police were first alerted to the animal in Kleinmachnow, just outside the Berlin city limits, around midnight Wednesday when people reported what appeared to be a big cat chasing a wild boar. The tipsters also provided a video.

Based on that and a later sighting of their own, police initially concluded that the animal appeared to be a lioness. But it proved elusive in searches Thursday and Friday in the flat, wooded area on the border between Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg. Several reported sightings remained unconfirmed; in one case on Friday, police only found a family of wild boars.

On Friday, police thoroughly combed the forest on both sides of the state line and found no sign of a lioness, no wild animal other than wild boar, which is common in the area, or any animal that has been killed, Kleinmachnow Mayor Michael Grubert told reporters.

Officials also had experts analyze the video and compare the depicted animal to the body structure of a lioness, Grubert added. Two experts independently concluded that “this is not a lioness or a wild animal” and that the creature “tends to become a boar,” she said.

“We will return to the usual surveillance program and we believe that there is no acute danger for Kleinmachnow or for the south of Berlin,” the mayor said, adding that the police could intervene immediately if the situation changes.

Grubert defended the large 36-hour deployment, which used helicopters, drones and infrared cameras and involved vets and hunters, as “appropriate.”

“The danger of a wild animal in Kleinmachnow justifies the deployment,” he said, adding that he would act in the same way “if I were in the situation today.”

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