Helicopter hunt captures escaped S.African lion

Photo: tripadvisor

Photo: tripadvisor

A lion that escaped from a South African national park nearly a month ago was finally captured after being shot with a dart from a helicopter, authorities said Tuesday.

The three-year-old male triggered a major search when it slipped through a fence at the Karoo National Park in the Western Cape and evaded all efforts to track it down.

“It appears the young lad had covered over 300 kilometres (190 miles) during his journey, and a number of sheep and a kudu (antelopes) were reported to have been killed,” said park manager Nico van der Walt.

The animal was on a steep cliff when it was shot on Monday with a tranquiliser dart by vets in the helicopter, which was then used to carry it off the mountain in a sling.

“We are happy to report that it is in good health and it would be put under observation for the time being,” Van der Walt said, adding it had been fitted with a tracking collar.

Members of the public had been warned to avoid the animal, which was named Sylvester in the local media.

It is believed to have been forced out of the park by older lions.

Six free-ranging lions were introduced into the Karoo National Park in 2010, the first of the animals in the area since 1842.

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