Sylvester the lion has been captured
The South African National Parks (SANParks) search team has successfully darted Sylvester‚ the escaped lion from Karoo National Park‚ outside Beaufort West. “A veterinarian is present at the scene with the re-captured lion at the moment‚” spokesperson Wanda Mkutshulwa said on Thursday afternoon.The lion was darted from the air in difficult terrain high up in the mountains and will need to be transported in a stretcher‚ on foot‚ for 3km to the nearest awaiting vehicle‚ Mkutshulwa said in a statement.Sylvester’s fate is not yet decided‚ SANParks said‚ following a massive public outcry over its threat to euthanise the lion because it has twice escaped from the park in less than a year.“The lion will be kept in the park in a boma until a final decision is reached on its future‚” Mkutshulwa said.SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni thanked members of the public for their concern‚ support and patience as the team worked “tirelessly” to recapture the four-year-old lion‚ which had escaped on Monday through a gap in the perimeter fence caused by water erosion after recent heavy rains.“As an organisation we remain committed to our conservation mandate and assure the public that the decision going forward will be in the best interest of the animal and conservation‚” Mketeni said.SANParks announced on Tuesday that a decision had been made to put the lion down once it is found as‚ among other factors‚ there is the possibility of the loss of human lives should he escape again. A day later‚ SANParks said that a meeting would be held to discuss all alternative options before putting the lion down. This came after massive public outrage‚ including several petitions which had already been signed by thousands and a social media campaign under the hashtag #SaveSylvester.