Mariana Balt
2 minute read
3 Dec 2018
9:20 am

Kruger National Park declares silent war on snares

Mariana Balt

These cruel animal traps are second only to poaching.

Beatrix the lioness was rescued in June after being caught in a snare, and was recently spotted mothering her now-adolescent cubs.

Two wars are raging in the Kruger National Park: one on rhino poaching and in close second place, that on snaring.

While the first grabs the whole world’s attention, rangers and vets in the park are silently fighting the second war, often with the help of alert visitors, reports Lowvelder.

Guests can report such sightings directly to the number supplied on the entry permits.

ALSO READ: Cruel poachers out to snare wildlife, domestic pets

The Facebook page Enough is Enough, driven by civilian Lize Bester from White River, also helps. Sightings can be reported on 082 458 6227 with info like the date and time of the sighting, type of animal and location of the snare on its body, the road number, distance from a turn-off and photos, if possible. A GPS reading will be a bonus.

Bester gives the details personally to a coordinator of all the services in the park, who in turn makes sure it is registered at the joint operational centre. She emphasises, however, that relevant park officials are not always readily available to give attention to the animal immediately.

On November 26 a snared lion, reported lying on the side of the road towards the river opposite Sunset Dam near Lower Sabie, was rescued in record time after being reported by visitors.

A lion reported again a day or two later was confirmed by the section ranger to be the treated one.

On the same day, a very elusive hyena, already reported long ago, could at last be tracked down on the S28 and the snare removed. This hyena had been avoiding rangers and vets for months, but thankfully the snare is now removed and the hyena treated.

During the same week, however, at least one hyena did not survive. Its body was found with a very tight snare around its neck.

One of the success stories that captured the hearts of Kruger enthusiasts is that of a lioness fondly called Beatrix. She was rescued in June and recently spotted mothering her now adolescent cubs.

Her cubs were very tiny at the time of her rescue. She survived a horrific snare around her body but apparently raised her tiny cubs without problems. Beatrix hides her little ones very well, but a ranger recently reported seeing them all with a kill in the vicinity of the Nyamundwa Dam on the Phabeni Road.

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