Travel

Tracking collar should make finding Sylvester the lion 'easier '

Traveller24

Cape Town - Sylvester, the Karoo National Park lion that went walkabout in June 2015, has once again gone AWOL.

SANParks spokesperson Reynold Thakuli confirmed it was indeed Sylvester that had gone missing and that a search team had been deployed to track the cat.

"Park authorities noticed early yesterday morning (Monday, 28 March) that his satellite tracking collar was pinging from outside the park’s boundaries. Rangers and trackers immediately set out to the north west, where the signal came from."

"Because the lion has a tracking collar it should be easier to find, he really is like a fugitive on the run this time," says Thakuli. 

"We believe he escaped underneath the electric fencing due to soil being washed away during heavy rains over the weekend."

Last year, the 3-year-old lion also escaped through a hole that formed under the fence after a heavy flow of water.

Sylvester had dozens of trackers and six dogs searching for him – on foot, in vehicles and from the air. Sylvester was eventually captured while taking a nap, after a three-week ‘holiday' during which time it had had  kill 26 sheep and a kudu. 

This time round eight to ten staff members were out tracking him on foot, the park said but by nightfall they had not yet caught up with him and had to return to the park. 

Thakuli said the area being covered is extremely varied, with mountain peaks and valleys. 

"This morning (Tuesday, 29 March) the signal was tracked to about 20km north west of the park.  We are awaiting air wing support from Port Elizabeth to arrive to assist in the search due to the difficult landscape. The area he’s been on has all been farmland, so it very sparsely populated."

"But should anyone spot the lion they are requested not to approach it, but to alert park authorities of the location on 023 415 2828 or 023 414 7080."

READ: Missing lion airlifted back to Karoo National Park 

 In October 2015, three months after Sylvester's first wandering adventure, SANParks moved two lions from Marakele National Park to the Karoo National Park in the hopes that the three would form a new pride.  It was suspected that the reason Sylvester went walkabout in the first place, might have been because his sister Inge was pregnant and he had presented a threat to the older dominant males who more than likely drove him away. 

None of the other lions have been reported missing and the search for Sylvester continues. 

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