Lioness escaped in Berlin: animal rights activists are demanding drastic consequences

Runaway lioness

Animal rights activists put pressure on: “This must finally come to an end”

Reporter Uta Keseling

07/20/2023, 15:35

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Lioness escaped in Kleinmachnow – search is ongoing

Lioness escaped in Kleinmachnow – search is ongoing

An escaped lioness keeps the south of Berlin in suspense. The wild animal was seen around midnight in Kleinmachnow, south of the capital. The police are also looking for the big cat with helicopters and warn the population against walks in the forest, among other things.

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The escaped lioness has called the animal protection organization Peta on the scene. You have an urgent request.

Berlin. The large-scale search for one escaped lioness near Berlin also rekindled the discussion about animal welfare and applicable laws on Thursday. Mareen Esmeier, head of the Berlin animal shelter and deputy managing director of the animal protection association for Berlin, criticized: “In Germany, every private person is allowed to own animals that are neither native here nor can be kept privately in a species-appropriate manner. This must finally come to an end.”

The keeping of exotic pets must be significantly restricted. The proposal by Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir for a positive list for exotic animals is therefore the right way. “It cannot be that in some federal states almost everyone is allowed to keep crocodiles, lions and tigers. Contrary to the opinion of critics, a positive list does not represent a blanket criminalization of pet owners, but regulates the responsible handling of exotic animals and actively contributes to animal and species protection. Other EU countries have already done it,” says Mareen Esmeier.

Peta: Again and again outbreaks of big cats

The Animal welfare organization Peta calls on the federal government to ban wild animals. “For two decades, there have been repeated outbreaks of big cats from private households and circuses,” said Peter Höffken, specialist at PETA. Despite warnings, politicians have failed to limit the keeping of exotic wild animals. “Even if the lioness or castrated lion were born in captivity, the animal would be extremely dangerous.”

Like half of all federal states, Brandenburg does not even have a dangerous animal law, lions can even be kept there legally, says Höffken. “We call on Cem Özdemir and the traffic light coalition to finally ban the keeping of exotic wild animals such as big cats, monkeys and snakes in private hands and in circuses in the current revision of the animal protection law.”

“There are simply animal species that are not suitable for private keeping,” said Nadine Ronco Alarcón, federal policy officer at the animal welfare organization Four paws. “The idea of ​​a lioness roaming the streets of Berlin is frightening and dangerous – for the public and for the animal,” says Ronco Alarcón. The lioness is probably under a lot of stress. “Dangerous situations like the current one in Berlin show how urgently politicians must act now.”

Federal Minister of Agriculture had proposed a list of permitted species

In January, Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) announced in an interview that he would support a Whitelist for pets with allowed ways to use. “Some people get animals that, in my opinion, have no place in private households,” Özdemir told Südwest Presse, “why does someone need exotic animals that are difficult to keep, such as snakes or a chameleon, at home?” This, in turn, was met with incomprehension from researchers and animal owners, who accused the minister of lacking specialist knowledge in keeping exotic animals.

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