14 March 2019

South Africa: 'He's Been Captured!' - Escaped Karoo Lion Sleeps It Off in a Police Cell

After a month of exploring the countryside, stopping for 'padkos' along the way and generally keeping authorities on their feet, the lion missing from the Karoo National Park has been captured.

And like any naughty outlaw, he was sleeping it all off in a police cell, sure to be affronted upon waking that his freedom had suddenly been curtailed.

"He has been captured... and is safe and sound," a relieved-sounding Reynold "Rey T" Thakhuli, SANParks general manager for media, PR and stakeholder relations, told News24 on Wednesday night.

He said the lion was found on a farm outside Sutherland in the Northern Cape, about 300km from the Karoo National Park.

"He was darted from a helicopter and is in a police holding cell in Sutherland. We are just waiting for a crate to come and transport him back to the park.

"He's certainly not a criminal," he joked, when asked what charges the lion faced.

The male lion, estimated to be between two and four years old, went missing on February 15, and ranger and tracker teams have been working shifts to track him down.

News24 previously reported that the lion had quite an appetite.

"After the eland there was one sheep, and now four sheep in this latest massacre. He must have been hungry," Thakhuli said at the time.

Bidvest Protea Coin recently assisted the search effort by providing its high-tech helicopter equipped with forward-looking infrared cameras.

SANParks also has its own helicopter on standby.

The last lion to hold the record for the longest disappearance was 4-year-old Sylvester in 2016. He managed to evade capture for two weeks.

Source: News24

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