FOUR lions are on the loose in Matsulu village, Mpumalanga after escaping from the Kruger National Park.
A massive manhunt is underway with the South African National Parks (SANParks), the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) and police joining forces to find the predators.
It is believed the lions escaped on Sunday night and were spotted in the village and along the N4 highway.
“KNP Rangers and their counterparts at Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) are in the area searching for the lions and we will give details as soon as they have appraised us. Residents should be extra vigilant and report any sightings of these dangerous predators to the authorities on 080010111,” said KNP’s spokesperson, William Mabasa.
Mabasa has urged the residents to exercise extra caution.
It’s not the first instance where big cats have escaped from the tourist destination. Earlier in the year, five lions escaped and authorities managed to capture four of them, while one was never found.
Residents have expressed fear following the news of the escape. Sibusiso Fakude, a resident from Nkomazi said the situation was worrying.
“This is a worrying situation because people are no longer safe. We cannot have a situation where dangerous animals just escape from the park easily. The park should make sure that they take care of their animals,” said Fakude.