I nearly ran straight into a lion, KZN jogger claims

2015-11-25 13:56
The footprint created by the creature. (Photo supplied)

The footprint created by the creature. (Photo supplied)

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Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal man, taking his usual morning jog at the weekend, froze in fear when he sighted what he says was a lion.

And Thokozani Msholo, 42, a businessman from KwaMbonambi in northern KwaZulu-Natal, insists what he saw was really a lion, despite Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife disputing this.

He even has a photograph of a paw print in the sand to back up his story.

Msholo said he woke up at around 03:45 on Sunday for his regular jog from his home to Richards Bay Minerals. He got into his running gear and he was out of the house by 05:15.

"I [try to] jog every morning, depending on how busy I am," said the businessman.

He said that he had only jogged about 100m when he encountered what he believes was a lion.

"It crossed the road very slowly, from one bush into another. It was huge and brown in colour. I am convinced it was a lion."

With his heart racing, Msholo hid behind a tree and prayed that the beast would pass by without noticing him.

"Even though I was petrified, I had a good look at it until it disappeared into the bushes."

He waited a while and then followed the direction the animal had taken and snapped a photograph of the spoor.

Asked if he was not afraid the animal would attack him while he was investigating he said: "Of course I was scared, but I wanted to get evidence of what I saw."

Msholo said local newspaper the Zululand Observer sent the photograph to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, who said they were not at all convinced the spoor was that of a lion.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo told News24 they were not aware of any lion sightings at the weekend.

"I can also confirm that, as far as we are concerned, no lion escaped from our protected area over the past weekend," said Mntambo.

But Msholo remains adamant it was a lion.

"I know what a lion looks like. That was not a big dog, it was a lion. I am saying that they should investigate further so that we don't hear of reports that community members were attacked in the area."

Read more on:    ezemvelo kzn wildlife  |  durban  |  animals

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