File picture: Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
Johannesburg – The search for the last remaining lion was called off until Wednesday after four lions of the five escaped pack were darted and returned to the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Tuesday.

The five lions escaped from the KNP on Monday evening, causing panic among residents. SANParks said the five adult male lions were believed to have been chased out of the park by a dominant pride.

The lions were spotted along the N4 near the Swaziland border. They had earlier devoured a cow at a farm on Tuesday before they were rounded off and darted.

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni thanked the police and park rangers for their work.

“We acknowledge that the area presented challenges for the search teams, but their persistence and dedication under those difficult circumstances has ensured safe return of these animals into the KNP with no injury or loss to human life.”

The search for the fifth lion would resume on Wednesday.