A wildlife official has confirmed the escape of Sylvester the lion.
This isn’t the first time the lion has escaped from the wildlife park. He got away last year and was on the run for about 3 weeks before being recaptured. At that time there was no sign of the lion, just paw prints which led him to be subbed Spook– meaning ghost in Afrikaans, the media later gave him the name Sylvester. However, this time it seems the South African government is done playing hide and seek with the lion.
“He is clearly a troublesome lion and could be a danger to humans,” Reynold Thakhuli, South African National Parks spokesman, told AFP.
“Authorities will have to consider various management methods to ensure his safety and that of people. Such interventions might include euthanising the animal”
His tracking collar currently shows him to be in a mountainous area which is not easily accessed by foot. This has led to helicopters being deployed in the search for Sylvester who allegedly killed a cow on Monday.
During his escape last year, he killed about 30 animals and strayed 186 miles away from the park. A tranquilizer was shot at him from a helicopter when he was found.
Although the three year old lion was thought to have been chased out by older lions last year, this time the park officials are not sure what could have caused his departure.
“This time we don’t know what might have driven him away. It could be that he became used to easy prey while outside the park,” said Mr Thakhuli.
The South African National Parks which manages the Karoo park, from which Sylvester escaped released a statement pledging to “put him(Sylvester) down” due to his threat to human life.
The SAN parks later released another statement saying the earlier statement saying that they intend to capture the lion safely, also listing the possible actions that would be carried out upon the capture of Sylvester.