The free movement of lions is becoming concerning for residents as their lives could be in danger.
At least 10 lions were spotted walking on a gravel road near the Palabora Mining Company’s copper mine in Phalaborwa, Limpopo, on Tuesday night.
A video of the pride was sent to Joe Dreyer, the editor of the Far North Bulletin, who noted that the lions most likely belonged to one of the surrounding nature reserves and usually stayed within the bounds of the reserve.
At least once a year though, Dryer said, the pride would come close to the mine hunting for buffalo that travelled along the nearby river.
“The reason we see them every year, around this time, is because of the buffalo and antelope that come here. And there aren’t so many trees in the area and so the lions hunt them.”
According to Dryer, this specific pride had been spotted by locals for nearly 30 years.
The Phalaborwa region has become famous for its lion sightings.
Earlier this month, The Limpopo provincial government confirmed that another pride, which was roaming the area, had returned to their usual location.
“I saw about 10 lions walking along the Tailing Dam. There were about three to four adult lions and the rest were cubs,” Phalaborwa resident John Khuswa told the Letaba Herald.
The lions were first reported on as being an escaped pride from the Kruger National Park, which has since been discounted after the Kruger denied that the lions belonged to them.
Initially, the Limpopo department of economic development, environment and tourism (LEDET) had reported that they would relocate the lions back to the Kruger National Park, but that all changed when LEDET MEC, Thabo Mokone opposed the move.
According to Mokone, due to the current availability of prey and lack of competition from other lions at the river, it will be difficult to take them back to the KNP.
A source told Letaba Herald that it was not the first time this year a pride of lions had been seen by the public roaming around that area.
“It has been happening for a while that the lions have been in and out of this area.
“I believe the reason people don’t know about it is because in the previous incidences no one reported it to the relevant authorities.
“This area has a lot of hyenas which I think the lions may be after,” said the source.