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07 August 2020

Lichtenburg The Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism (DEDECT) confirmed that all 14 lions that escaped from a privately owned Elandfontein farm, 5km outside Lichtenburg along the R505 towards Ottoshoop on 31 July, were successfully recaptured.

After receiving a distress call, a team comprising Departmental Control Animal Specialists were urgently dispatched to the scene. The team accompanied by the South African Police Service (SAPS) managed to recapture 13 lions around 01:00, whilst one lion was lured and darted around 09:00.

The department engaged with the owner to determine the cause of the escape and found that one side of the fence keeping the lions in was cut. They suspect attempted poaching.

The department is entrusted with the management and control of roaming wild animals. Species like these are also regulated by the Threatened and Protected Species regulations under the Biodiversity Act, and many activities involving the species, called restricted activities require permits to do so.

A thorough inspection was conducted to determine if the owner is still adhering to the conditions of the permit as outlined in their Management Plan and National Environmental Biodiversity Management Act (NEMBA) No 10 of 2004. It was found that the permit is still valid, and that the owner adheres to his permit conditions of safekeeping lions on his farm.

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