The search for a lion which escaped from the Karoo National Park in the Western Cape continues, said the South African National Parks (SANParks) on Thursday.
Park manager Nico van der Walt said: “The teams of rangers and trackers left the park well before sunrise this morning in order to reach the area by sunrise where they will be searching today and another team will also return to the park’s fence to establish if the animal had not tried to regain entry to the park.”
Van der Walt said the teams were searching in thicketed canyons, steep rocky hills, and mountain tops, making it difficult to find tracks.
Farmers and farm workers in and around the area have been urged to report sightings or evidence of lion spoor to the police or the park.
The lion is believed to have escaped on February 15 and the team searching for it comprises four trackers and four rangers.
Van der Walt said from the momentary sighting rangers had of the animal last week, they believe it to be a two-and-a-half-year-old male.
“It’s believed he managed to escape underneath the park’s electrified fencing after heavy rain in the area washed away sediment along the boundary – and before rangers could get to all the areas to attend to these holes in the ground,” Van der Walt said.
Local Beaufort West residents are reportedly fearful since the lion’s escape, but Van der Walt reassured them the lion was last seen more than 12 km from the north-eastern boundary of the park and this was in the opposite direction of the town’s location.
– African News Agency