South African police kept a young male lion in a holding cell after it was tracked down and sedated following its escape from Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West in the Western Cape nearly a month ago.
The lion was discovered in the Northern Cape town of Sutherland over 100 kilometers from the park. The park’s administration confirmed the lion was in good shape after the capture.
“He looks very healthy and is currently in transit back to the Karoo National Park.” Park manager Nico van der Walt said.
Sutherland police station commander Marius Malan jokingly quipped that this was probably the first time in the world that a lion had been put in jail and no humans shared the cell with the big cat.
The chief executive officer of the South African National Parks Fundisile Mketeni thanked the team that tracked down the lion and locals who assisted authorities in spotting it.
“Everyone who assisted without being requested to do so has shown appreciation for South Africa’s natural heritage and for this we commend them.” Fundisile Mketeni said.
Upon sighting a South African National Parks helicopter was dispatched and the animal was successfully darted. The lion was then kept in a holding cell provided for by the South African Police Service until a crate was brought from the Addo Elephant National Park from where it was to be taken back to its home.