Friday, 1 April 2016

‘Troublesome lion' escapes from South African park for second time

Spokeswoman says that ‘problem animal’, nicknamed Spook, faces being killed after second successful escape from the Karoo National Park

Agencies in Johannesburg
Wednesday 30 March 2016 00.16 BSTLast modified on Wednesday 30 March 201616.57 BST

A lion that earned the nickname Spook – “ghost” in Afrikaans – after it escaped from a national park in South Africa and eluded searchers for more than three weeks has broken out of the park again.

A spokeswoman at Karoo National Park said on Tuesday that a helicopter was searching for the male lion, which was fitted with a satellite tracking collar after last year’s escape and should be easier to trace this time.

Spokeswoman Fayroush Ludick told the Associated Press the lion, which escaped overnight on Sunday, had become a “problem animal” and would be killed because it knew how to get out of the park and could endanger people.

Ludick said that in both breakouts, Spook had slipped under a fence where rain had washed away soil.

“He is clearly a troublesome lion and could be a danger to humans,” South African National Parks spokesman Reynold Thakhuli told Agence France-Presse. “Authorities will have to consider various management methods to ensure his safety and that of people. Such interventions might include euthanising the animal.”

During his last escape, Spook roamed 186 miles (300km) from the park, killing 30 animals over three weeks before being shot by a tranquiliser dart fired from a helicopter.

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