Two lions safely captured after escaping moving trailer

lion on the side of a road in Limpopo

© Twitter: @TheoDJager

Sourced from third-party site: Traveller24, written by Selene Brophy

Two escaped lions were a cause for concern just outside Tzaneen in Limpopo, after a farmer spotted them escaping from a moving trailer on Sunday, 25 November.

The origins of the lions however remain unclear, after a search and capture operation was wrapped up on Monday morning.

Theo de Jager, President of World Farmers Organisation WFO, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) and Agri All Africa said in a tweet, “Two wild lions have just escaped from a moving trailer in Georges Valley, 7km from Tzaneen.”

The incident happened at about 17:00 on Sunday.

In an interview with Jacaranda FM, De Jager says he noticed a lion getting out of the trailer and he chased after it while driving, also attempting to notify the driver about the danger. He says a third lion was also in the trailer at the time.

De Jager says once the driver came back around, one of the two escaped lions had run off into the bushes.

A search operation was soon launched in George’s Valley and Makgobaskloof areas, with a notification sent to the Farmer’s Association in the area via Whatsapp. One of the two missing lions was “darted and captured by a qualified vet” within an hour after the incident. The second lion was only found on Monday morning.

De Jager confirmed the second lion was “darted in rainy weather, and our valley is safe again!”

The driver of the vehicle alleged that the lions were being transported from one animal enclosure to another. While the intended destination of the lions is unclear, the driver told De Jager that the lions had been “darted that morning (Sunday) in Kruger”.

Traveller24 contacted SANParks to confirm if any relocation of lions were planned for Sunday, with William Mbasa saying, “We are not aware of any lions being moved from Kruger, these lions definitely did not come from here”.

The origin of the three lions is still being investigated.

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