Rangers and trackers have briefly spotted the lion that escaped from a game park in the Karoo last Friday.
"It's a young male, between two and four years old," Karoo National Park manager Nico van der Walt told News24, although he added that officials could not be sure, given that the animal moved quickly.
The lion escaped from the park outside Beaufort West following heavy rains which caused soil erosion under a fence.
Officials first picked up the big cat's spoor on Monday, but the predator eluded them when it entered a deep gorge.
Helicopters were brought in to help the track lion which is believed to have killed an eland.
"It's moving pretty fast and the problem is that the area there is difficult," Reynold "Rey T" Thakhuli, SANParks general manager for Media, PR & Stakeholder Relations, told News24 on Friday.
He said that 14 rangers were tracking the lion on foot and that the helicopter was on standby.
Members of the public have been warned not to approach the lion, but rather contact the nearest police or the park on 023 415 2828.