The authorities in Germany have ended a frantic search for a “free-roaming lioness” that caused a panic in Berlin after determining that the animal that was seen was probably a wild boar.
“The repeated sighting of the lioness by a citizen in the area of the lock path turned out to be wrong,” said a statement on Friday from the German municipality of Kleinmachnow, in the state of Brandenburg, where the first sighting of the animal was reported. The authorities added that their search turned up startled piglets.
“After an expert analysis of the available video and an unsuccessful search in the forest area between the various sighting locations, there is no indication that a big cat is in Kleinmachnow or the surrounding area,” officials said. “The level of danger is downgraded by the police.”
Officials from the town of 20,000 people, about 14 miles from the center of Berlin, said on Thursday that the lioness had been “causing a stir” since it was spotted eating a wild boar along a road. A search for the animal, which involved more than 100 police officers, veterinarians and hunters, as well as drones and helicopters, was focused on three small towns along the southwest boundary of Berlin, where the police had issued warnings about the animal.
At the time, the police asked the population in those towns to “act with the appropriate vigilance” and, if the animal was spotted, to seek shelter and alert the authorities.
In a news conference on Friday, Mayor Michael Grubert of Kleinmachnow said that the police would remain vigilant, according to Reuters.
Mr. Grubert said that an analysis of video of the animal showed that it did not have the typical features of felines, like a long, curving neck, and that shadows cast by vegetation could have made it appear differently.
The police received reports around midnight on Wednesday of a sighting of a wild animal chasing and eating a wild boar in Kleinmachnow.
A short, grainy video of that sighting, which was shared with the police and then circulated on social media on Thursday, appeared to show what some believed was a large wild cat feeding on a wild boar in a grassy, forested roadside area. The police said that the animal in the video appeared to be a lioness, calling that possibility “credible.”
A search for the animal began immediately with the Berlin and Brandenburg police forces getting involved and using helicopters. Riot police were on the scene to protect local residents.
It was unclear where a lion would have come from, as they are not native to Germany. Though there are zoos, animal protection centers and circuses in the area, the police said none had reported a missing lioness.
Others had fun with the chaos, and memes abounded: The Twitter page for Deutsche Bahn, the national German railway operator, tweeted a helpful reminder that while house cats and smaller pets did not need their own tickets, larger pets, “other than companion lions,” required their own train passes.
Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting.