Escaped lion instils fear in Limpopo

2011-03-10 12:41
Thohoyandou - A huge male lion is still on the loose around Thohoyandou, Limpopo.

Frank Muthelo, senior inspector for wildlife trade and regulations at the Vhembe district municipality, said the lion was one of three lions, including two males and one female, that escaped either from the Makuye Nature Reserve or the Kruger National Park on Saturday.

He said game rangers managed to shoot and kill two of the animals on Monday afternoon in Ngezimane village near Thohoyandou. The lions had already killed three cows.

“On Tuesday morning we spotted tracks of the remaining male in Matatani village between Musina and Thohoyandou. Community members in that area are urged to immediately call authorities if they spot the lion, they must not try to be heroes because this animal is probably hungry and dangerous,” said Muthelo on Wednesday.

Muthelo said the police and experienced game rangers started looking for the lions on Saturday.

Voters scared off

“The game rangers and the police are still following tracks of the missing lion in the Matatani village. We will definitely kill him when we find him because we have the responsibility to protect human lives and livestock,” he said.

He said an investigation had been launched to determine how the lions escaped.

“We have contacted both the Makuye Nature Reserve and the Kruger to alert them about the lions, but none confirmed whether they belonged to them or not,” Muthelo said.

Kruger spokesperson William Mabasa said Kruger officials had only heard about the lions on radio.

“Our rangers have not reported any escaped lions. We only heard about these lions on the radio and we are not sure if they are ours or not, maybe they are from Makuye Nature Reserve,” said Mabasa.

Meanwhile, provincial chief electoral officer for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Nkaro Matete told journalists that some villagers from around Musina and Thohoyandou were too afraid to register for the May 18 local government elections after reports about the roaming lions.

“We received reports from our officials that people were scared off from several voting stations because of fear of the lions,” said Matete during a press conference in Polokwane on Monday.

Spokesperson for the Mutale local municipality in Thohoyandou Phiathu Rabura said the reports of the missing lion had instilled fear within local communities.

Panjo escape

“The fears are reminiscent of the fear caused by Panjo the famous tiger that went missing in Mpumalanga last year,” said Rabura.

Panjo, a 17-month old Bengal tiger at the time, caused panic in Mpumalanga in July last year when he escaped from the back of his owner’s bakkie between Groblersdal and Delmas.

The tiger lived on its owner Goosey Fernandes's Jugomaro Game Farm near Groblersdal in Limpopo, but was on his way to Gauteng via Mpumalanga for a visit to a vet.

Some parents even kept their children out of school until the tiger was captured.

Panjo was finally found on the farm Swartkoppies in Verena by a tracking dog called Zingela, two days after he went missing. Zingela was used to track wounded animals in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The tiger's spoor had first been picked up by tracker Johnson Mhlanga from Singita Lodge in Mpumalanga.
Read more on:    iec  |  polokwane  |  animals  |  panjo  |  elections

Maimane: Zuma misled SA

54 minutes ago

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!


I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Area Manager - Retail

Western Cape
Evolve Personnel
R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Restaurant Manager

Western Cape
SET Recruitment Consultants
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

upply Chain Manager

Western Cape
ZIMCO Group (PTY) Ltd
R30 000 - R40 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.