Pride of lions in vicinity of Phalaborwa is not a known pride from KNP

As many have no doubt heard over the last couple of days the story regarding the breaking out of a pride of 14 lions from the Phalaborwa region in the north of the Kruger National Park.
It has been well known for quite a time that the Foskor Mine road has lions on it, just like many other animals such as leopard, elephant and kudus are seen regularly. A lot of people voiced their opinion on the fate of these lions, but over the last couple of days, the “Kruger National Park Management”, went ahead and verified that these lions are not theirs, and that they come from somewhere else.

Nobody can really say, just where they have come from, but when one goes down to “Olifants River Safaris”, and you spend a bit of time there doing some of their activities, one can hear the roar of lions in the area, and yes we know the Balule Game Reserve is on the opposite side, however this occurs in a completely different direction. The lodge is visited frequently by elephant, and has resident hippo in the area as well as leopard.

I think that a time has come to just leave these lions to live their life, as they have not worried anybody for years. It does not help the situation to now go and euthanise or move the pride, as the road and surrounding area falls into their “Home Range”. People need to understand, that if we can live with elephant and other animals walking down the main road in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe, then having Lions, Elephant, Leopard and whatever other animals roam onto the Foskor Mine Road, need to be left alone. There is now an operation afoot to capture these lions, and to move them somewhere outside the KNP and are to be monitored. For piets sake, can nobody leave their dirty hands off the wildlife in the area, and let them be. It makes one quite sick and tired, when man makes a decision and it is 99% wrong in the first place. Just sickening stuff.

Below is the “Press release”, by SAN Parks on the “Phalaborwa Pride Of Lions”.
South African National Parks stated this morning that the widely reported pride of lions seen recently in the mining area outside Phalaborwa is not a known pride from the Kruger National Park (KNP) or the adjacent private nature reserves. It has been reported that this pride has been residing for more than a year within the Foskor, Phalaborwa Mining Company and direct adjacent areas, moving along the Selati river system. This area outside but adjacent to the KNP also contains elephant, buffalo and other wildlife.

The pride might have established in this area, due to the current availability of prey in these areas, and due to a lack of competition from other lion prides. The lion population within the Greater Kruger is very healthy, growing, and suitable habitats occupied. It would, therefore, be unwise to relocate a lion pride in the territory of an existing pride. The disease status of animals is also a consideration when looking at possible release areas.

KNP GM: Conservation Dr Marisa Coetzee said in a meeting between various parties it was agreed that a capture operation to be coordinated by Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) will be carried out as per the approved protocols. LEDET is the responsible authority on this matter. “The plan is to capture the pride and move them to a suitable area outside of the KNP and private reserves, where after they will be closely monitored by LEDET

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

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