Lion killer won’t be pun­ished

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KHANYISILE NGCOBO

THE MPUMALANGA farmer who yes­ter­day shot two of the four lions that es­caped from the Kruger Na­tional Park on Sun­day will not be pros­e­cuted, au­thor­i­ties con­firmed yes­ter­day.

The male lions es­caped from the park and were seen late on Sun­day near a road a few kilo­me­tres from the park, SA Na­tional Parks’ Wil­liam Mabasa said at the time.

It was not known how the lions es­caped from the park, most of which is fenced.

Yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, it was re­ported that two of the lions had been shot by a farmer who found them eat­ing his live­stock.

One of the lions was killed in­stantly while the sec­ond one was left wounded.

Of­fi­cials were then forced to put down the wounded lion and kill a third an­i­mal.

SANParks spokesper­son Ja­nine Raftopou­los said the farmer would not be charged be­cause he acted within his rights.

“He’s ba­si­cally pro­tected be­cause he was pro­tect­ing his as­sets, the cat­tle, and he acted within his rights. So there won’t be any le­gal ac­tion against (him).”

She said the killing of the re­main­ing lions came after of­fi­cials were alerted to the shoot­ing.

“Upon be­ing in­formed of this, the search team on the ground as well as the SANParks chopper were dis­patched to the area where we dis­cov­ered the wounded lion and the third lion. The in­jured lion is ob­vi­ously very dan­ger­ous and is very un­pre­dictable, so the de­ci­sion was taken to put it down along with the third lion.”

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