Missing Lion In South Africa Spotted But Search Continues

By @hyaluronidase on
IN PHOTO: A lions yawns at Nairobi's National Park March 11, 2013. The park is located just 7 km (4 miles) from the Kenya's capital city center. Reuters/Marko Djurica

A three-year old lion from Karoo National Park in Johannesburg had escaped on June 5, and according to reports park rangers have spotted the animal. According to Fayroush Ludick, a spokesperson for the South Africa National Parks, the rangers spotted the lion on Friday.

The lion was believed to have escaped the park through a hole under the park fence. Since its escape last week, BBC reports that the news spread on social media with #missinglion.  In SA’s Eye Witness report, Ludick said that trackers have found the animal, “but it’s just a matter of keeping up with it through the mountains and ravines.”

"It was spotted on a road that joins Leeu Gamka and Fraserburg," she said in a new report from News24. Ludick added that the lion was found close to a riverbed but dashed in and out of the bushes, so rangers were not able to tranquilise it.

In addition, Karoo National Park is mostly a hilly region with grassy areas and winding valleys, which makes tracking the animal a bit of a challenge. The report indicates that a helicopter was also brought in to help with the search but had to be cancelled on Friday night because the helicopter ran out of fuel and it got dark.

The search was performed again on Saturday and is still on-going, according to Ludick. If the lion gets spotted again, rangers will shoot it with a tranquiliser and will be brought back to the park where it came from.

Ludick reported in BBC last week that park officials feel confident about the male lion being recaptured. She also warns people not to approach the animal when they see it. "Can't really judge the temperament of the lion because it is wild and it stays in a national park of under 90,000 hectares of land,” said Ludick. She emphasised that the animal is not tame and has not been exposed to humans so what the lion can do when it encounters a human remains unpredictable.

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