Residents around the area must be highly vigilant, as the escaped lion could pose a huge danger to anyone it comes in contact with.
The lion missing from the Karoo National Park near Beaufort West has been tracked close to the town of Sutherland.
“It’s now near Sutherland on the south-west part,” Reynold “Rey T” Thakhuli, SANParks general manager for media, PR and stakeholder relations noted.
The male lion, estimated to be between two and four years old, went missing on February 15, and ranger and tracker teams have been working shifts to track it down.
“The lion is about 42km from Sutherland. This lion is misbehaving; it’s becoming a tourist,” said Thakhuli.
Following the kill of an eland two weeks ago, the lion has now taken down a number of sheep, Thakhuli added.
“After the eland there was one sheep, and now four sheep in this latest massacre. He must have been hungry.”
Bidvest Protea Coin recently assisted the search effort by providing its high-tech helicopter equipped with forward-looking infrared cameras.
A four-person team was deployed for three days, but failed to find the predator.
SANParks also has its own helicopter on standby. Thakhuli said that it was too early to report on the cost of the operation.