7 June 2019

South Africa: 14 Lions On the Loose Near Kruger National Park

The lions were seen near a mining community close to the town of Phalaborwa outside the wildlife park. People have been warned to stay alert as rangers try to capture and resettle them.

A pride of lions was seen roaming the Foskor phoshate mine on the western boundary of the famous Kruger National Park in the far northeast of South Africa on Friday

"Employees at Foskor Mine and members of the public are hereby advised to be alert at all times," environment and tourism authorities said in a statement.

Park spokesman Ike Phaahla confirmed: "There is a danger to members of the public who are working in the area," given the "possibility of wildlife-human conflict."

Where did the lions come from?

It was unclear how long the lions had been roaming. They are believed to have escaped the park and field rangers have been deployed to capture them and release them back into the Kruger.

But Phaahla said this was not feasible, as the lions would "continually break out as other dominant lions will chase them out ... We need to identify a park where they can be taken and establish their own area."

Lion responsibility

There is also a question as to who is responsible for the lions. Phaahla said any animal outside the park "is the responsibility of the provincial authority."

The provincial department of environment and tourism said a meeting of government and park officials had concluded the lions should be captured and released into the Kruger park.

According to the Kruger National Park there are believed to be 1,600 lions in the wildlife protection area.

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