THE search for one of the five lions who escaped from the world-renowned Kruger National Park has been called off, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) said in a statement.
The authorities recently announced that the four lions had been captured and taken back to the park.
“We have decided to officially call off the search operation as there has been no sighting of the missing lion since the other four (4) were captured on Tuesday. We suspect that the lion might have probably gone back to the park. However, we still urge the communities to be alert and inform us if it is spotted anywhere in the area”, said Johannes Nobunga, Chief Executive Officer of MTPA.
Nobunga said the terrain in which the search was conducted presented challenges for the team.
He, however, said they would continue to work with farm owners and the community in the area for possible sightings that might occur.
The lions were sported by a resident at the N4 / Mananga crossing outside the town of Komatipoort on Monday.
A few days after they escaped, it was reported that animals had killed a cow.
Mandla Madlala, a resident based in Mananga Village was unhappy with the agency’s decision to abandon the search.
“I think it is a bad thing to call off the search of the lion because they don’t know where it. If this animal is still within the communities, we are in danger,” said Madlala.