The local community has been warned to be “alert at all times” after the lions escaped from Kruger National Park. The lions are thought to have escaped from the park on Thursday, and have since been seen in the nearby town of Phalaborwa. This is the second incident at Kruger National Park this week, after a boy was mauled to death by a leopard on Wednesday.
A spokesperson from the Limpopo Government tweeted: “A meeting held between LEDET (Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism), The Kruger National Park and Greater Balule concluded that the lions are to be captured and released back at Kruger National Park.
“Employees at Foskor Mine and members of the public are hereby advised to be alert at all times.”
According to reports in The Sun, dozens of rangers have been drafted in, along with a team of vets with rifles and tranquilliser darts to recapture the big cats.
A two-year-old boy was killed by a leopard in the same national park this Wednesday.
The child’s father told local newspaper The Star: “We rushed him to Shongwe Hospital but when we arrived he was already dead.
“They put him on a bed and looking into his eyes and saw no sign of life.”
In response to the attack Kruger National Park tweeted: “Courtney Ntimane was attacked by a leopard at Malelane living quarters and was rushed to the nearest hospital but unfortunately he did not make it.
“Two leopards were shot in the immediate vicinity of the scene, and adult female and a sub-adult female and they both correspond with reports from eyewitnesses.
“SANParks would like to reassure visitors and other stakeholders who visit the KNP that the area is safe as long as they observe rules and regulations when in the Park, especially around illegal feeding of animals.”
This incident is not the first time lions have escaped from national parks in South Africa.
Sylvester the Lion famously escaped from Karoo National Park twice, in both 2015 and 2016.