Lost lion located, killed
Pilanesberg/ Sun City – A week ago, Pilanesberg management were notified about a lion that escaped from the park which also killed some goats on a farm to the west of the park.
Teams were immediately deployed, and an aerial search was launched for the lion. The search continued for the next few days, and any reports of possible sightings of the lion were thoroughly investigated.
On Saturday morning, 26 March, during another helicopter search of the area, the lion was spotted in an area not far from the goat kraal. The lion was approached with a vehicle and darted.
According to North West Parks Board acting chief conservation officer Pieter Nel, initial sightings indicated that it was a female lion that escaped as it had no mane. However, after it was tracked down, they found that it was in fact a three-year-old male.
They found the lion had a bullet wound which shattered its left-front shoulder and on advice from the consulting veterinarian, it was euthanised.
The owner of the goats indicated he managed to fire a shot at the lion when it charged at him. Although in relatively good condition, the lion was covered with ticks and had quills of a porcupine in its month.
It is suspected to have escaped through one of the floodgates in the fence that open when streams in the park are in flood.
The North West Parks Board would like to thank the Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust, staff of the Black Rhino Landowners Association, the North West Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism, field guides and staff of Pilanesberg Nature Reserve for their commitment to bring this episode to an end.
“We are thankful no one was injured, and we also thank the community for their indulgence and support,” Nel added.
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