Concerns regarding two healthy lions cruising the Enyati area, Vryheid—follows Vryheid SPCA taking to social media on Sunday, 9 May 2021, explaining how they had received a call regarding “an incident”. In their social media post, the animal welfare organisation explained how they responded to the call in order to establish if the animals were dead or suffering from the injuries inflicted upon them by the two travelling carnivores.
While the bodies of the animals were found, the lions were nowhere in sight. Vryheid SPCA explained that according to the community, the lions had been in the area for approximately a week but only chose to report it now.
As these apex predators do pose a threat to humans, livestock and smaller animals, the SPCA contacted Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, notifying them of the problem. “According to people who saw the lions, it is a female and male, which is apparently massive,” the Vryheid SPCA affirms.
The Communications Manager of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Musa Mntambo, states the organisation is aware of the wondering lions escaping from a reserve between one to two weeks ago. However, it is unclear where the two predators come from. Mntambo adds, “Once we capture them, we will be able to establish where they come from.” Whether the lions belong to a private game reserve or a public one, incidents such as this highlight the importance of why Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries Barbara Creecy announced a plan to ban the breeding of lions in captivity for trophy hunting and tourists.
Offering insight into these beautiful creatures, Bradley Gibbons of the Endangered Wildlife Trust was contacted and asked how far lions could travel and how elusive they could be?
“When it comes to distance travelled, it all depends on the situation and their survival, but lions can travel about 50km per day if they must, unlike leopards which can travel up to 200km a day. And if a lion feels they are in danger, they can hide exceptionally well,” He explains.
If you spot these fearsome felines, it goes without saying; the lions should not be approached at all! You are not Joe Exotic nor a trained professional. Therefore, if anyone sees this happy couple to contact Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife on 033 845 1999, Bradley Gibbons can also be contacted on 082 566 5803, and will assist in getting the relevant parties involved in ensuring the lions are captured.
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