RUSTENBURG HERALD - PILANESBERG - A week long search for an escaped lion which was reported to be on the loose at Ledig and Mohobieskraal just west of the Pilanesberg National Park at Sun City ended on a sad note over the weekend when the lion was found wounded and in poor condition and sadly put to sleep on advice of a veterinarian.
A week ago, Pilanesberg management were notified about a lion that escaped from the park and killed some goats on a farm to the west of the park. Teams were immediately deployed and an aerial search was launched to search for the escaped lion. The search for the lion continued for the next few days and any reports of possible sightings of the lion were thoroughly investigated.
On Saturday morning, 26 March, during another helicopter search of the area, the lion was spotted in a area not far from the goat kraal. The lion was approached with vehicle and darted, and on advice from the consulting veterinarian, it was euthanized. It was a 3-year-old male lion, and had a bullet wound which shattered the left front shoulder. The owner of the goats indicated that he managed to fire a shot at the lion when it charged them. Although in relatively good body condition, the lion was covered with ticks and had quills of a porcupine in its month. It is suspected to have escaped through one of the floodgates in the fence that is opened when streams in the park are in flood.
The North West Parks Board said it would like to thank the Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust, staff of the Black Rhino Landowners Association, the North West Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism, field guides and staff of Pilanesberg Nature Reserve for their commitment to bring this episode to an end. “We are thankful that no one was injured, and we also thank the community for their indulgence and support”, the statement concluded.