Sylvester the lion gets two new pals to form new Karoo National Park pack

2015-10-10 18:30
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Cape Town - Remember Sylvester the Karoo lion who went walkabout in June 2015?

Well turns out it's been a rather lonely three-months for the chap, tucked away in a holding boma since his recapture on 29 June. 

Sylvester had dozens of trackers and six dogs searching for him – on foot, in vehicles and from the air, killing 28 sheep, a Nguni cow and a kudu along his walkabout of nearly 400km’s.

READ: Lion on Karoo walkabout recaptured while taking a nap!

That is, until recently. On 1 October, South African National Parks (SANParks) moved two lions from Marakele National Park to the Karoo National Park as part of its innovative approach to managing lions in small parks.

Now the two from Marakele, one male and one female and both four-years-old, have joined Sylvester in the holding boma. Sylvester is only three-years-old. 

According to Netwerk24, the reason Sylvester went walkabout in the first place, might have been because his sister Inge is pregnant. It is believed he presented a threat to the older dominant males who more than likely drove him away. Sylvester and his sister came to the park when they only six-months old, back in 2012.

SANParks confirmed the two new lions were flown in on a SANParks aircraft to Beaufort West, near Karoo National Park, on the 1st Of October 2015. The hope is that while they’re in the boma, they’ll bond and form their own pride before their release into the Park.

READ: Missing lion airlifted back to Karoo National Park 

 In May 2014, two lions were translocated from Pilanesberg Nature Reserve in the North West Province to Marakele National Park to form new coalitions and to diversify the gene pool for lions in the Park. “We find this to be best practice management action available to SANParks and it has been working well for us,” said Johan Taljaard, Park Manager Marakele National Park.

Marakele National Park currently has 24 resident lions including cubs. This move will enhance the gene pool of the Karoo National Park lion population which currently stands at 11 lions.