A badly injured anti--poaching dog is stealing people's hearts on social media after an altercation with a lion.
Akita, an eight-year-old Malinois dog, has been with SANParks' anti-poaching dog unit since 2012, Beeld reported on Tuesday.
On Saturday, Johan de Beer, kennel master at the Kruger National Park canine unit, posted pictures of a battered Akita on the Facebook group "SANParks KNP RANGER DOGS", showing her many scars and stitches.
She had reportedly been chased down by a lion three weeks ago and badly bitten.
De Beer said Akita was a "cheeky dog" that was fearless when it came to wild animals.
This was not Akita's first injury while on the job, though.
In March last year, Akita was on the wrong end of a kudu's horn.
According to The Lowvelder, while out on patrol near Letaba, Akita was charged by a kudu and impaled.
Akita's chest was reportedly torn open by the kudu's horn. She was airlifted to Mbombela, where she was successfully treated.
Akita was widely praised on Facebook.
Bridget Lupton commented: "Wow. Brave dog!"
Abel Lugar said: "Well done. Amazing dog! Thank you."
"Oh my goodness, poor Akita. She's one brave and tenacious girl," Gemma Thompson said.
Others felt that Akita had done enough and should "retire".
Jeremy Walker wrote: "Amazing that she survived this. Will she be able to retire now? I don't think she should be put at risk of this happening again."
"She's done her service, time to retire now to a good home where she will be loved and taken care of for the rest of her days," said Nic Theunissen.
"The dogs are contributing a huge success to catching poachers," De Beer told AFP in 2015.