Moscow: In a bizarre incident, an 80-kilogramme lion cub ran wild and sparked panic on a Siberia-bound Russian train after a woman sneaked it on the sleeper by registering it for travel as a "domestic cat".
The nine-month-old cub was being taken from the Russian capital to the city of Surgut in northern Siberia by a woman identified as Lyudmila Kosovskaya, 24.
Police in Ekaterinburg, 1400 km east of Moscow, said the owner lost control of the young lioness - which had been registered for travel as a "domestic cat" - and could not cope with the situation.
It was necessary to urgently isolate the animal which was running wild, the Siberian Times reported.
"The lion cub had first been kept in a cage but then the woman accompanying it for some reason let the animal out," a police spokesman said.
"When the animal, which was being transported without a muzzle, started behaving wildly, the woman couldn`t control it. She shut it in her sleeper car and asked the train staff for help," the spokesman said.
The woman begged the carriage conductor to shut the animal, which was out of its travelling cage, in the train compartment.
The train supervisor became disturbed by the animal`s growl from behind the door.
Walking on the train, the lioness struck a woman with its paw. The woman tried to calm the creature but angered it even more.
Fearful train staff alerted Yekaterinburg station and police were awaiting the train`s arrival with veterinarians and local circus staff.
"When the coupe was opened, we saw the lioness. She was not aggressive, but rather frightened with what happened. There was a cage, but the lioness was sitting on the bottom bunk," an eyewitnesses said.
It is believed, the lion was later put down.