There is high level of anxiety among residents of South Africa’s Phalaborwa community in Limpopo after 14 lions escaped from the Kruger National Park.
The lions escaped on Thursday but officials say they have spotted them and will soon dart them.
The Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism is assuring residents not to panic.
News24 quoted an official of the department, Zaid Kalla as saying that “We immediately sent out two teams of rangers to where the lions had been spotted and they managed to find the animals.”
“The lions are currently contained in the area and arrangements are being made to have them darted and transported back to the park.
We are still strategising on how we’re going to sedate the lions and transport them to the Kruger National Park,” Kalla said.
There have been concerns the animals could run further to communities where people reside. In the past there have been attacks from Lions that escaped from parks.
So much fear
A municipal worker Mahira Masakwameng from Phalaborwa told the BBC “People are afraid because unlike other animals we’ve seen roaming the streets from time to time over the years, we know lions attack when they come into contact with humans”.
Kalla said “We need to keep in mind that we are in Limpopo, which is home to 76% of the Kruger National Park, which covers a huge area.
Therefore, you will find large wild animals – such as elephants, which use the fence of the Kruger or other wildlife facilities to scratch themselves – often leaving gaps or pushing them down completely.”
A meeting held between LEDET, The Kruger National Park and Greater Balule concluded
that the lions are to be captured and released back at Kruger National Park.
Employees at Foskor Mine and members of the public are hereby advised to be alert at all
— Limpopo Government (@OtpLimpopo) June 7, 2019