How lion, which escaped from game reserve, was captured in Pretoria

How lion, which escaped from game reserve, was captured in Pretoria

File photo - An escaped lion was captured in Gauteng.

File photo – An escaped lion was captured in Gauteng.

Aquavision Television Productions

  • The lion was first spotted north of Pretoria on Thursday morning.
  • It was identified as Kwandwe, and confirmed as missing from the Dinokeng Game Reserve.
  • The animal was spotted by a helicopter – and then darted not far from the area it had first been seen. 

A lion, named Kwandwe, was captured after roaming around north of Pretoria for most of Thursday morning. It had escaped from the Dinokeng Game Reserve.

The capture of the lion was confirmed to News24 by Kameeldrift community police forum chairperson, Petrus Nel, on Thursday night.

Nel said the lion was first spotted in the area of Buffelsdrift Conservancy, which lies on the western boundary of the Dinokeng Reserve, between the Roodeplaat Dam and the N1 highway, north of Pretoria.

He said a resident, who was on his way to work, sighted the lion around 04:45, near the Buffelsdrift Road.

Nel said a search and rescue operation ensued shortly after.

“It’s been captured, it’s back in its boma and is safe and sound. A helicopter from Dinokeng was dispatched and arrived around 09:00 and it herded the lion towards a team of rangers, who then darted it,” said Nel.   

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Nel said residents in the Buffelsdrift Conservancy and Haakdoringlaagte also assisted in the search and rescue operation.

“First thing we did was to get pets, cattle and other animals out of the area, to keep them safe, and we also stopped cars from driving towards the lion’s direction,” said Nel, adding:

Our community, the community police forum, assisted as well. We posted people at various gates and main roads to make sure that no other people came in – and, if the lion was spotted, we had eyes in which direction it was going.

Asked to describe the area, Nel said Buffelsdrift Conservancy is large bushy terrain. It has unfenced individual properties, which has wild game, including antelope and zebra, and is popular for mountain biking.     

News24 was unable to get comment from the reserve, and their comment will be added once received.

Several efforts to get a comment from the Gauteng agriculture and rural development department were also in vain.

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