Cape Town - 160329 - Sylvester the Karoo lion in its boma at the Karoo National Park on Thursday, June 23, 2015. Photo by Gabrielle Venter South African National Parks

Cape Town - The three-year-old Sylvester the lion will not be put down.

Four days after he was found wandering in the Karoo and classified a “danger causing” animal, SANParks’s Wanda Mkutshulwa said there was no reason to end his life.

“Euthanasia is not an option at this stage,” Mkutshulwa said.

Motivated by uncertainty about Sylvester’s future, about 200 people gathered in Cape Town at the weekend to protest the possibility of putting him down.

SANParks issued a statement last week announcing the lion would be put down after it escaped from the Karoo National Park for a second time.

The options for Sylvester’s future now include bringing the lion back to the park and looking at improving fencing and other preventive measures, translocating him to another national park or donating him to another state-owned conservation entity.

Sylvester got out of the park last Tuesday by crawling under the electric fence, after rains had eroded the soil.

He was eventually recaptured two days later about 20km north of the park. While he was on the prowl, he killed three sheep and a cow.

Last year Sylvester went on the run for three weeks and killed 28 sheep, a cow and a kudu.

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Cape Times