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Lions roaming around Phalaborwa town captured

The community of Phalaborwa and surrounding areas, can heave a sigh of relief, after the lions which were spotted roaming around town have been captured.

The five young lions caused an uproar on social media, after videos of them were doing the rounds on Monday, June 3. According to Eugene Troskie of Phalaborwa Natural Heritage Foundation (PNHF), the lions were successfully darted and released in the Greater Kruger. They are currently monitored thanks to a donation by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) which has sponsored a satellite collar for one of the lions.

Lions being immobilised. Photo supplied.

Although the lions are believed to be from the Greater Kruger system, on Tuesday, no reserve had yet claimed them. Troskie believes that because the lions are still young, they might have been pushed out of their pride by adult lions and that they have strayed far from their original territory. “It does not look like they were from around here, they may have wandered far from their original territory.” He says that keeping wildlife within a protected area is challenging.


Also read: Update: 14 free-roaming lions ‘going nowhere’


A small animal like a porcupine can dig a hole underneath a fence and a big animal like a lion digs it bigger and escape from the protected area. Troskie advises that residents should refrain from causing panic by posting videos and photos on public groups if they encounter wildlife outside of a reserve. According to him, people go to the scene and scare the animals away making it difficult to track them. “The rescue was difficult because of the thick vegetation in the area where they were found, but it was not dangerous.

The satellite collared lion. Photo supplied.

They were darted and released in a reserve in the Greater Kruger.” PNHF worked with Palabora Mining Company’s environmental team, Dr Dirk de Klerk from the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environmental and Tourism (Ledet), EWT, Dr Rita Piso of Mangata Veterinary Services and Dr Sune Ferreira to affect the capture and released. The spokesperson of Ledet, Zaid Kalla, also encourages communities to refrain from attempts on capturing or provoking stray wildlife, nor should they approach its young/offspring (cubs, litter, etc).

“The department has skilled employees tasked with management of wildlife. For safety, members of our communities should always contact us or SAPS regarding spotting of any stray wildlife, “he concluded.

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