File photo: Omar Sobhani

Cape Town - A Karoo National Park lion is still on the run despite South African National Parks rangers’ best efforts to track it down.

A ranger taking part in the search for the errant beast had to be evacuated from a mountainous area to the west of the park yesterday after losing his footing, falling and breaking ribs, said SANParks spokeswoman Fayroush Ludick this morning.

The lion escaped from the western side of the large park after heavy rain undercut the park’s border fence a week ago.

It is believed that the lion, a three-year-old male, had been driven away from his pride by an older male.

Ludick said the ranger was injured late yesterday.

“I really hoped that we could report the lion had been captured this morning, but unfortunately, it is still out there,” she said.

Ludick confirmed that the lion had killed sheep on a nearby farm as it hunted for food.

While the Karoo’s missing lion was still being tracked today, Twitter was having a little fun with #namethemissinglion trending this morning in South Africa.

And, of course, this came with inevitable humour.

“I can’t help but feeling a little Simbathetic towards this missing lion,” said @Jonoloud while @JHBSTUDENTS shot back “Let’s be honest, he has to be named Lion Messi. The way that he found that gap was incredible.”

The lion escaped from the Karoo National Park a week ago through a small gap in a fence caused by a flooding river.

“Snoop lion” suggested @Ike_Barr or “SlimBa” said @kelllllyn.

No, it had to be “Hungry Lion” said @Snazo_Gulwa after one farmer reported the lion had killed eight of his sheep.

If he was intentionally let out of the park then his name had to be “Oscar or Shaik” said @Supa_Dan.

While @Traveller24_SA called for calm: “Lion on the loose is probably just doing a trans Karoo road trip, everyone chill out!”

@samarakaroo tweeted “It is now Pokkie against the lion” referring to the master San tracker Karel “Pokkie” Benadie who is on the elusive cat’s trail.

Cape Argus