Thursday 31 January 2019

SOUTH AFRICA: Six Animals Killed By Electrocution In Kruger National Park

Six large animals have died at South Africa's biggest national park after storms toppled a power cable.

A rhino, a giraffe, two lions and two hyenas were electrocuted when the power line came down in Kruger National Park.

The giraffe and rhino died first, and the lions and hyenas were killed by the live wire while trying to eat the carcasses.

Rangers came across the disturbing scene while taking engineers to the site to restore electricity.

Isaac Phaahla, a spokesman for South Africa National Parks (SANParks), said the animals died last Friday in the Skukuza section of the park.

Kruger National Park rangers discovered the animals while accompanying electricians

The animals were electrocuted after heavy rains and strong winds brought down a power line, he said.

At almost 20,000 sq km (7,700 sq miles), the Kruger National Park is the country's largest wildlife reserve.

On Tuesday, a spokesman told reporters the park had reports of four other dead animals in January so far. Two of them have been confirmed as poached, and two of them are under investigation, he said.

Meanwhile, South African lions chewed a poacher, leaving just his head

A suspected big cat poacher was eaten by lions near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, police say.

The animals left little behind, but some body parts were found at a game park near Hoedspruit.

It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions, Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe said.

They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains.

Police have not yet established the victim's identity. A loaded hunting rifle and ammunition were found next to the body.

Lion poaching has been on the rise in Limpopo province in recent years.

The big cats' body parts are sometimes used in traditional medicine, both within Africa and beyond.

Wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation says lion bones and other body parts are increasingly sought-after in South East Asia, where they are sometimes used as a substitute for tiger bones.

In January 2017, three male lions were found poisoned in Limpopo with their paws and heads cut off.

Also, Lions killed in South Africa after escaping Kruger reserve

Three lions which had escaped from a world famous game reserve in South Africa have been killed.

A farmer living near Kruger National Park (KNP) shot dead one of the males when he found all three eating one of his cows, a parks spokeswoman said.

He wounded another and a third ran away.

A search party of rangers decided to put down the wounded lion and the one which had escaped the farmer, Ms Raftopoulos said.

South African National Parks says the unharmed lion was killed because tasting cattle meat would change its behaviour.

There were also concerns that having already escaped once, the lion would keep trying to leave the park.

The decision is made by vets and rangers with years and years of experience, Ms Raftopoulos said.

Initial reports indicated that four lions had escaped on Sunday, but parks officials have since said that evidence suggests only three escaped.

KNP is one of the biggest game reserves in Africa, covering an area of 7,523 sq miles (19,485 sq km).

It is not yet clear how the lions escaped from the park, which is largely fenced off.

Officials say they were probably driven out by population pressures.

The latest escape comes after five lions broke out of the same park in May. Four of them were caught but the fifth is still unaccounted for.

Tourism Observer

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