Beaufort West – A massive search is under way for a lion that escaped from the Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West and is suspected by now to be on a private farm.
The 3-year-old lion is believed to have escaped on Friday through a hole that formed under the fence after a heavy flow of water.
The hole is underneath the fence on the western side of the park, next to the Fraserburg road, and the suspicion is that the lion made his way through a stormwater pipe to one of the farms in the area.
A farmer who spotted lion tracks on his farm, informed the park authorities.
“The park is surrounded by farmers, that is why we believe the lion to be on farmland,” SanParks spokesperson Fayroush Ludick said.
She said they had launched an air and ground search.
“Fortunately we already had a helicopter in the park. We have been searching the whole weekend, but without success. We suspect the lion has been driven away by an older lion.”
SanParks said in a statement that trackers have found lion tracks, but their efforts had been seriously hampered by the rocky terrain.
Personnel from the Addo Elephant Park and the Mountain Zebra National Park have now joined in the search.
People with information of the lion’s whereabouts can call Brian van der Westhuizen at the Karoo National Park on 023 415 2828.
An American tourist was killed by a lion in the Lion Park near Lanseria in Johannesburg last week.