A man was mauled to death by a lion at the Dinokeng Game Reserve this week.
Johannes Matshe, 30, who was an employee of one of the land owners at the reserve, was killed on Sunday night and his remains discovered on Monday morning, the reserve said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The individual was tragically attacked and killed by lions while attempting to navigate the reserve on foot after dark,” said Hartogh Streicher, reserve spokesperson.
“Walking within the DGR during the night, or at any time, is strictly forbidden in accordance with reserve regulations.”
He said the incident came to light when the vigilant reserve fencing team of DGR stumbled upon what appeared to be human remains at approximately 10.37am on Monday.
“The operations manager responded promptly, confirming the unfortunate loss of life,” he said.
Streicher said the SAPS were immediately notified.
“An investigation is under way.”
Streicher said following the tragedy, The Dinokeng Game Enterprises (DGE), who own the wildlife of Dinokeng Game Reserve, a separate company chaired by Michael Daymond, have confirmed that they have applied to the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Environment (GDARDE) for a permit to euthanise the three lions.
Daymond said that they are saddened by the tragic event and gives his condolences to the family.
Streicher said as part of safety regulations no pedestrian traffic is permitted within the reserve, exiting vehicles is restricted to designated areas only.
“This incident underscores the need for both visitors and landowners to exercise caution when interacting with the reserve’s wildlife. By respecting the rules and adopting responsible behaviour, we can ensure a safer environment for all,” concluded Streicher.
In an unrelated this, a senior manager at the SANParks Environmental Crime Investigative Unit Kobus de Wet was mauled to death by a hippopotamus.
De Wet and his wife had been camping at the Kruger National Park when the tragic incident occurred.
SANParks spokesperson Isaac Phaahla said De Wet was on an anti-poaching campaign at the time.
“He was very instrumental in the arrest and conviction of many poachers who are now behind bars. We pass our heartfelt condolences to his family during difficult time,” said Phaahla.