/ 12 November 2007

Runaway lions killed in Mpumalanga

Two lions — thought to have escaped from the Kruger National Park in September — were shot and killed near the park’s Numbi gate, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks agency said on Monday.

Spokesperson Jimmy Masombuka said officials tracked down the lions after a community member reported that five of his cattle had been killed by them.

Officials caught up with the pair, a male and a female, at about 8pm on Sunday.

He said it was thought that the lions were the last two at large after four escaped from the park in September. One had already been shot by conservation officials and another had been hit by a train.

The lions killed at least 47 cattle in the Limpopo area during September and October.

”They had no specific markings, but it seems as if these were the ones that were still roaming around,” Masombuka said.

The carcasses were sent to a state veterinary office where a post-mortem will be conducted to determine whether the lions had any illnesses.

Masombuka urged community members living in the protected area around the park to remain vigilant. — Sapa