The lion that escaped from the Karoo National Park near Beaufort West last month has finally been found and captured after being darted in the Northern Cape, reports eNCA.
Head of communications at SANParks Janine Raftopoulos confirmed to the news channel that the lion was found just outside Sutherland. The police stock theft unit from Beaufort West assisted in the search from the end of February.
He had undertaken a rather impressive journey of more than 260km (as the car drives) from his starting location on 15 February.
The lion will reportedly be moved to the Karoo park after he has been assessed by vets.
Earlier there were other reports that the hungry lion had been preying on farmers’ sheep and had even taken down an eland.
The lion reportedly now also has the record for achieving the longest lion escape among its King of Beasts brethren in South African history, beating the previous holder Sylvester’s feat of being on the lam for two weeks, according to News24.
Its spoor was spotted at the end of February on the farm Haw & Miszewski Taaiboschfontein, 70km from Beaufort West, one of the owners said two weeks ago. At that time, trackers were confident they were about to find him, but he clearly had other plans, with one person interviewed remarking that he was becoming “a tourist”.
Park rangers in choppers were deployed to try to dart and catch the estimated two-and-a-half-year-old male. The continued efforts of the aircraft have reportedly racked up a rather large bill.