South African rangers intensify hunt for runaway lion

Helicopters join search for young lion, which escaped from a perimeter fence at Karoo National Park last week.

    Officials said the lion would be shot with a tranquilliser dart and taken back to the wildlife park it escaped from [File: Getty]
    Officials said the lion would be shot with a tranquilliser dart and taken back to the wildlife park it escaped from [File: Getty]

    South African game rangers have been intensifying the search for a young lion that escaped from a wildlife park last week, officials said.

    Officials were on Sunday using helicopters and rangers armed with tranquilliser guns to find the lion missing from June 5.

    "We are still looking, but with a master tracker on board since yesterday we believe we are getting closer," said Karoo Park spokeswoman Fayroush Ludick, the Reuters news agency reported.

    The three-year old lion, believed to have escaped through a hole under the perimeter fence at the Karoo National Park, was discovered missing after farmers reported tracks on their private property.

    When it is found, Ludick said the lion would likely be shot with a tranquilliser dart and transported back to the wildlife park it escaped from.

    Rangers earlier failed to lure the animal with an antelope carcass.

    Situated about halfway between Cape Town and Johannesburg, the Karoo National Park is a hilly region of grassy scrubland and winding river valleys, making tracking challenging.

    Two weeks ago, an American tourist was mauled to death when a lioness attacked her through the open window of a car while driving in the Kruger National Park, South Africa's biggest safari park.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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