Four big cats still at large

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

WILDLIFE author­i­ties are still searching for four male lions that es­caped from the Kruger Na­tional Park on Sun­day night. In a state­ment yes­ter­day, SANParks said that, to­gether with Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency of­fi­cials, they had tried on Mon­day and overnight to lure and catch the four lions, which were first sighted wan­der­ing near the N4 in the vicin­ity of the Crocodile River gorge. “Of­fi­cials are work­ing around the clock to lo­cate ei­ther the lions or any re­cent signs of their pres­ence so that a joint op­er­a­tion can be launched to cap­ture them,” said SANParks gen­eral man­ager for vet­eri­nary wildlife ser­vices Dr Markus Hofmeyr. He in­di­cated that the lions were be­lieved to be in “a very rocky, moun­tain­ous and thickly wooded un­in­hab­ited area south of the Crocodile gorge”. Very ex­pe­ri­enced staff were deal­ing with the sit­u­a­tion, he said. “Rangers, air wing per­son­nel and vet­eri­nar­i­ans are on standby to pro­vide sup­port to cap­ture the lions.” Hofmeyr said the lion pop­u­la­tion had grown ex­po­nen­tially and young males were look­ing to own new ter­ri­to­ries. – ANA

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