Young cub kills sheep

2011-11-29 00:00

“COME! Come and see, there’s a lynx in the sheep pen. Bring the gun.”

This was the startled reaction of Henry Modise (41), a farm worker, yelling to his employer this weekend when he saw a “cat” early in the morning in their small sheep pen.

The “cat” had already caught and disembowelled one of the farmer’s sheep.

Gerhard van Rhyn, from the farm and lodge Mierdam, about 10 km outside of Dealesville in the Free State, woke his son, grabbed the shotgun and ran to what he thought was a lynx to shoot it.

To his surprise it was a “very aggressive” lion cub in his sheep pen among his sheep.

One sheep lay dead beside him with its intestines hanging out.

“It was a big surprise for us on Sunday morning.

“It’s not every day that a man wakes up like this. Now we have a wild lion here,” joked Van Rhyn.

He suspects the feisty cub jumped into the sheep pen during the night and attacked one of them.

After the cub ate his meal, he spent the night lying between the sheep.

The Van Rhyns are now scratching their heads trying to figure out where the lion came from.

His son, Stefan (20), and Modise spent about 30 minutes trying to catch aggressive cub.

“He looks tame, but if you come near, he tries to bite you.

“It was a struggle to catch him,” Stefan van Rhyn said.

Van Rhyn phoned around and eventually found a lion breeder from Kimberley who was prepared to come out and fetch the cub.

Theuns Cloete, owner of Tarentaalrand Safari Lodge, who went to fetch the cub, said the lion is no more than three months old.

The cub was not impressed with the human attention he got.

He was tense and growled at everything that moved.

The sheep were still aware of the danger in their cage and nervously crowded into the farthest corner away from the cub.

Modise said he could not see exactly what kind of cat it was initially.

“I was scared and got a huge fright. I went to the farmhouse and said they must bring a gun,” he said.

Cloete said he will place the cub amongst others of a similar age.

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