The proud SANParks team that tracked the escaped lion for almost a month.
The proud SANParks team that tracked the escaped lion for almost a month.
the lion that escaped from the Karoo National Park a month ago was sedated and kept in a police holding cell.
the lion that escaped from the Karoo National Park a month ago was sedated and kept in a police holding cell.
DURBAN - Following an almost month-long search for a young lion that escaped from the boundaries of the Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West in the Western Cape, the animal was successfully darted on Wednesday night in the vicinity of the Northern Cape town of Sutherland some 120km from the Karoo National Park.

This is according to Karoo National Park manager Nico van der Walt, who said the lion was in an excellent condition: “He looks very healthy and is currently in transit back to the Karoo National Park.”

Van der Walt said it was one of the most taxing experiences for the team involved in the recapture operation, “but their dedication day and night, sleeping out in the veld, sometimes in the rain with wind, is to be commended”.

SANParks chief executive officer Fundisile Mketeni said the conditions under which the tracking team worked to recapture the escaped lion were difficult.

“On behalf of all SANParks staff, I wish to extend our gratitude for their hard work and efforts put into the recapture of this animal,” Mketeni said.

According to Van der Walt, the trackers picked up new spoor in the afternoon (March 13) and followed it until the lion stormed out of the bush late in the afternoon.

“A SANParks helicopter was dispatched and the animal was successfully darted in the mountains at approximately 6pm.”

He said quick decision making was required after administering the dart as darkness was quickly approaching.

“Thankfully Sutherland SAPS provided a holding cell for the lion until the arrival of a crate from the Addo Elephant National Park this morning.”

THE MERCURY