SANParks: Killer lions not ours

2014-01-27 05:30
(File)

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mbombela - The South African National Parks (SANParks) has denied that stray lions which have killed scores of livestock in the Beitbridge area of Zimbabwe may have come from the Kruger National Park.

Media in Limpopo reported in January that lions, suspected to have escaped from the Kruger, were terrorising villages around the small border town, and have killed 12 cattle and 10 donkeys over the past four months.

“The lions could not have escaped from the Kruger, simply because it is too far for the animals to travel. The villages mentioned are almost 120km from the nearest gate, which is Pafuri,” said SANParks spokesperson Ike Phaahla, responding to the reports.

The Limpopo Mirror reported on 10 January that stray lions in Tshikwalakwala village near Beitbridge had become perennial livestock killers.

Over the past five years the village has been plagued by lion prides, and numerous Zimbabwean media sources have also singled out the Kruger as the park from which the problem animals escaped.

In July 2013, Zoutnet reported that lions which "allegedly strayed from the Kruger National Park", had killed 19 cattle in Tshikwalakwala in less than a month.

In a September 2011 article titled, Stray Lions from Kruger Park in SA causing havoc in Beitbridge, Bulawayo said that lions had killed livestock in Beitbridge and in 2009, The Zimbabwean newspaper reported that a pride of stray lions from the KNP had “once again descended on Beitbridge”.

Phaahla said that there were numerous hunting outfits and game farms in the region from which the lions could have escaped.

“There are hunting outfits between the Kruger and the affected villages and a lot of game farms with lions in the region. Zimbabwe also has a lot of hunting outfits that have lions, so the lions could have come from anywhere,” said Phaahla.

He added that the park's technical team have a regular fence maintenance and monitoring programme and work closely with game rangers and hospitality managers to prevent animals from straying into communities around Kruger.

“Once an animal strays into land inhabited by humans, there are systems in place to alert our rangers. It is important to note that once an animal leaves the sanctuary of the Kruger, it becomes the province’s responsibility,” Phaahla said.

In March 2002, a lion which had escaped from Kruger killed a Mozambican immigrant close to the Limpopo town of Phalaborwa.

Skukuza police spokesperson Warrant Officer Oubaas Coetzer said that strict control measures meant that lion escapes were extremely rare.

“The fences are well patrolled and I have never heard of whole prides escaping, normally it is just one individual,” said Coetzer.

Beitbridge councillor Enoch Ndou was quoted in The Limpopo Mirror saying that authorities need to address the problem in Tshikwalakwala.

“The animals are now posing a threat to children travelling to school. We are appealing to the relevant authorities to address this problem before villagers lose their lives,” he said.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.