Helicopter, trackers fail to find escaped Karoo lion

2019-02-21 11:39


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The lion that escaped from the Karoo National Park, outside Beaufort West, on Monday, has still not been found, despite the use of trackers and a helicopter on Wednesday.

The lion was first sighted outside the park on February 15. 

On Wednesday, News24 reported that rangers' hopes of closing in on the wild animal were greater because a female eland carcass was found on a nearby farm on Tuesday.

"A lion with a full belly is likely to sleep for some time. This will thus work to our advantage and we can gain time on the lion," park manager Nico van der Walt said at the time.

On Wednesday, he said trackers managed to track the spoor of the lion until it disappeared into an extremely rough terrain which was inaccessible, even by 4x4.

Reynold "Rey T" Thakhuli, SANParks general manager for Media, PR and Stakeholder Relations, said: "It was about 15km from the park and they followed the spoor until it led them to a deep gorge."

It indicates that the lion is moving further away from the park.

"The tracking team also got to an area where it looked like the animal must have slept," Thakhuli added.

A helicopter was summoned but by late afternoon there was still no joy.

Thakhuli said the search was continuing and that the helicopter would be used again.

"Today they are going into that difficult terrain."

Meanwhile, Van der Walt said SANParks was concerned that the animal had still not being found six days later, but added that the "tracking team remains resolute that the lion will be successfully returned to the park".

Residents of Beaufort West and surrounding areas have been urged to be careful and to not approach the lion if they see it.

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Read more on:    sanparks  |  cape town  |  animals

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