14 lions escape from Kruger National Park, Phalaborwa residents warned

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(File, iStock)
(File, iStock)

People living in and around Phalaborwa have been warned to be careful as 14 lions are on the loose.

The lions are reportedly suspected to have escaped from the Kruger National Park on Thursday, Limpopo-based radio stations Capricorn FM and 1NationFM reported on Friday morning.  

The Limpopo government confirmed in a tweet that the lions were believed to have escaped and were seen roaming around the Phalaborwa Foskor Mine.

"It is suspected that the lions escaped from Kruger National Park. The Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) has allocated field rangers to closely monitor the pride's movement prior action to be taken," LEDET said. 

"A meeting held between LEDET, The Kruger National Park and Greater Balule concluded that the lions are to be captured and released back at Kruger National Park. Employees at Foskor Mine and members of the public are hereby advised to be alert at all times."

READ MORE: Distraught dad relives moment leopard killed his 2-year-old son - report

This is a developing story and more information will be added as it becomes available. 

Leopard kills toddler

Tragedy struck at the park earlier this week when a Kruger National Park staff member's 2-year-old son was killed after a leopard bit the toddler at the staff living quarters on Wednesday evening, News24 reported. 

The incident took place at the Malelane technical services living quarters and doctors later certified the boy dead at Shongwe Hospital in Mpumalanga.

Fundisile Mketeni, chief executive officer of South African National Parks, extended his condolences to the family and said: "Our prayers are with the family during this trying time. We wish them strength and will give them all the support they need as an organisation."

The park said it was "an unfortunate risk that staff experience when having to live and work in environments like the KNP. These events are very rare occurrences but always tragic when they do occur."

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