Dozens of German police officers are using helicopters, drones and infrared cameras to track down what is believed to be a lioness spotted on the outskirts of Berlin.
Police are working with a team of experts, including a veterinarian and hunters, as part of a search which began around midnight local time (6 p.m. ET Wednesday) in Kleinmachnow, just beyond the city limits, after several eyewitnesses reported seeing a large predatory cat chasing a wild boar.
“As of 13:10 (7:10 a.m. ET) I can inform you that the lioness has not yet been sighted. This means that our measures here in Kleinmachnow are still running at full speed at the moment,” said Kleinmachnow mayor Michael Gruber at a press conference Thursday.
“We are searching together. The police and also other forces are trying to find the lioness,” he added.
A large-scale search employing two helicopters and a convoy of 30 police vehicles and 100 police officers is underway.
It is currently unknown where the wild animal came from.
Police spokesperson Kerstin Schroeder said authorities “investigated the origin of the animal during the night. That is to say, we checked zoos, animal parks and other animal-keeping facilities and made inquiries. No animal of this kind has disappeared from any of these facilities.”
Police had earlier warned residents in parts of Berlin to stay indoors.
“Please avoid leaving the house due to an escaped wild animal in the Kleinmachnow, Teltow & Stahnsdorf (PM) area and also bring your pets into the house. Our colleagues are on site and checking the situation,” local police said Thursday morning on Twitter.
Police urged people to call emergency services if they spot the animal.
CNN’s Chris Stern contributed to this report.