14 July 2017

South Africa: A Report Will Determine Reason for Lions Being Shot - Sanparks

A report from officials who were on the ground when escaped Kruger National Park lions had to be shot - will determine the reason behind the fatal shootings, a spokesperson has said.

"The details of the report of what the situation transpired will only come from the people who were there," SANParks spokesperson William Mabasa told News24 on Friday.

Mabasa said it is far too soon for the report to have been written.

"If you think the incident report is circulating already, then you are a little bit ahead of everybody."

He said no one immediately knew how the big cats escaped, but said there could have been many factors at play.

"Kruger National Park is surrounded by a fence that is no less than 1000km. We have rivers flowing into the park from the outside. During rainy season, those river banks can be eroded and open spaces around the banks. In those cases animals can escape."

He said animals such as lions could also have dug under the fencing.

"Elephants can also push fence down and other areas. We also have a situation where you have some people staying nearby who cut fences, thus creating holes."

He said animals had been escaping from the park for years and said it would continue to happen.

"This has been happening for years, long before you were born. And it will still happen. It is important when people see these animals that they report it immediately. [That way] we can run into those communities and rescue the animals when they are still visible."

Three lions which escaped from the Kruger National Park were shot dead on Thursday.

One of the lions that escaped on Sunday was killed by a farmer after the three killed the farmer's cattle.

Mabasa previously said they dispatched a search team in the early hours of Thursday morning and found the lions close to the farm.

"The terrain was difficult and we could not drug them so we were forced to shoot the remaining two lions," he had said.

Source: News24

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