Rainer Altenkamp, a wildlife expert and president of the environmental organization NABU Berlin, said he was sure the alleged lion video showed a wild boar.
«Even the short, drooping tail with a loose furry tassel about four inches long rules out a lioness,» he said in a news release. «The other recognizable features, for example the round back and the elongated head, fit very well with a boar and speak against [it being] a predator.»
The burrowing behavior seen in the video is typical of wild boars, he added, and unlike a big cat, it showed no reaction to a bright light being shone on it.
Reports of a crash heard in the luxurious Zehlendorf, southwest of Berlin, on Thursday night turned out to be a hoax, or, as German officials put it, «a bad joke.»
Questions are already being asked about how such vast public resources were devoted to the search for a fictional animal.
The officials defended their actions.
Grubert said that «the search measures were justified» and said the search would be conducted in the same way again.
There are 23 registered lions known to live in the local state of Brandenburg, a spokesman for the state’s environmental agency told NBC News on Friday. They are distributed among three circus companies, two zoos and a private owner, according to the agency.
Officials also said again that tests of animal feces were being analyzed and results are expected in the next few days.
Altenkamp suggested that if such a scare were to occur again, police should assemble a team of experts in identifying wild animals before warning the public.
«The more extraordinary the claim, the more reliable the evidence must be!» he said.