News24

Rangers search for escaped lions

2010-06-30 22:25

Polokwane - A team of rangers is searching Limpopo for three lions and a cub believed to have escaped from a wildlife park, the province's economic development, environment and tourism department said on Wednesday.

"The four lions were spotted in a village in the Giyane area a little over a week ago," said spokesperson Joshua Kwapa.

"Immediately after getting the report we dispatched a team of rangers to locate and capture them. They are on duty 24/7."

It was believed that the lions escaped from the Kruger National Park.

"The difficulty we are having is that during the night when it's easier to catch them, the lions move into the Kruger National Park... and that's their habitat."

He was unable to say if there was a hole in the fence that the lions were using to enter and leave the park.

"When it comes to anything dealing with the park, we cannot comment. You will have to ask the park management," said Kwapa.

"All we can do is continuously monitor the situation. We make sure that residents avoid them and so far no resident has been attacked."

He said the lions had not been near the residents and were lazing in the bushes.

"We are obviously not in control of their behaviour. We can only take precautions as a responsible department.

"They are wild animals and if they are not in a secure area, anything can happen."

Kruger Park spokesperson Laura Mokwebo was not immediately available for comment.

She was however quoted by AFP as saying: "We are not aware of any escapes from the park. They might have been from any other private parks around us. It is really hard to say where they came from."