Search still on for Karoo National Park lion

SABC News Lion R 300x169 - Search still on for Karoo National Park lion

A team of rangers, trackers and volunteers are still searching for a lion which escaped from the Karoo National Park near Beaufort West last week.

The animal is thought to have dug his way out from under a fence following the recent heavy rains in the area.

This is the second lion to have escaped from the park in recent years. In 2016, Sylvester made headlines when he got out twice.

On Tuesday, rangers found an eland carcass on a farm adjacent to the park.

Nico van der Walt from the Karoo National Park, says that trackers are getting closer to finding the lion. “Normally when there are kills, lions tend to eat quite a lot and they also lie down after that. So we have gained on the lion because he was quiet for a while. So the rangers and the trackers are on the spoor at the moment.”

Residents of Beaufort West are living in fear, especially due to the number of escapes.

“I feel very unsafe. I don’t even want to walk anywhere because this is not the first time this has happened. It’s the second time that a lion has escaped. You don’t know where he is. They say here and there, but at the end of the day, you find out he’s here in the somewhere around us where we live. My concern is especially about the park of Beaufort West. There’s also a new area there nearby the park and I’m very concerned about that. They must also make the park more secure.”

Park authorities say the lion is nowhere near the town as it is being tracked in rough, mountainous terrain. Van der Walt has urged residents to remain cautious.

“We ask of the public and the people of Beaufort West just to be aware of that and to take caution, specifically on the farms where there are workers in the veld. But we have also indicated to that specific land owner where the lion is at the moment to take special caution.”

Park officials are positive that they will track down the feline shortly.

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