Lulekani police outside Phalaborwa in Limpopo alerted community members to a lion that was allegedly seen along the Giyani-Selwane road on Monday, reports Letaba Herald.
Spokesperson Sergeant Reoh Mabunda said: “The police received a call from a motorist who was travelling along the mentioned road, alleging that he noticed a lion busy devouring a cow next to the road.”
It has now be confirmed that it was a leopard caught roaming the on the outskirts of Phalaborwa, Letaba Herald has confirmed.
Video: Supplied to the Letaba Herald by a conservationist in Phalaborwa.
“I saw the leopard feasting on a rotten donkey. The donkey was hit and killed by a truck a few days ago,” said Cobus Lombard, the man who claims he travels the Giyani road every day.
“This is not the first time this happens. The leopards are always eating road kill and we always see it,” he told the Letaba Herald.
In a statement received from the police, they warned community members about a leopard which was suspected to have escaped from the Kruger National Park.
“It is alleged that a motorist was travelling on the Giyani-Phalaborwa road and saw a leopard walking on the side of the road,” the police said in a statement.
The police said that the Department of Environmental and Nature Conservation was alerted and were searching for the loose leopard.
The police, however, maintain their comment that a lion was also spotted at the same place.
“This accelerates more worries to the police as, on Monday, a lion was seen on the very same spot,” stated the Lulekani police spokesperson, Sergeant Reoh Mabunda.
The Herald also contacted Drew Abrahamson from Captured in Africa Foundation.
“Leopards are very dangerous animals and if you don’t see them and bump into them by surprise, they don’t give any warning till the last second,” Abrahamson said.
There is no way to catch a leopard other than having to use a bait trap or dogs, which she believes are both incredibly cruel methods.
“If you see it, keep still and back away slowly, keeping it in sight at all times.”
Abrahamson explained that leopards are master escape artists.
Updates to follow as more information is made available.