Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Toddler mauled to death by leopard in Kruger Park

Up close of leopard  Pexels Satria Wira Bagaskara Up close of leopard Pexels Satria Wira Bagaskara
Patty Aguilar | 07 June, 2019, 11:31

South African National Parks CEO Fundisile Mketeni has extended his condolences to the family of the victim.

Kalla says local communities have been alerted to the presence of the lions and authorisation has been obtained to relocate the lions in the Kruger National Park with the necessary logistical arrangements now being made.

The leopard managed to access a fenced off area of the park and grab the boy.

In a statement released by the national park, they stressed that such attacks were "very rare" and confirmed that due to the incident, they had located, shot and killed the big cat in an effort to "remove the danger".

"The toddler was only 30 months old", the park said in a statement.

The boy, who was a staff member's son was certified dead by doctors at the Shongwe hospital after being rushed there by family members.

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The incident happened at around 8pm on Wednesday night.

"We are now still tracking where exactly they managed to escape from the Kruger National Park, but at the moment they are roaming around Foskor mine around Phalaborwa", said Kalla. It is never easy to lose a loved one especially under such tragic circumstances.

Kruger National Park is a popular destination for local and worldwide tourists who travel to the reserve to see wild animals in their natural habitat.

Phaahla added that the predators in the park, such as leopards, interact with tourists and staff and that this interaction could result in species becoming habituated to people and losing their fear.

"This change in natural behaviour can lead to unfortunate incidents such as this. These events are very rare occurrences but always tragic when they do occur", KNP said.

The KNP have arranged counselling for the family and will help with the funeral. "May the young toddler's soul rest in eternal peace", Mketeni said, on behalf of KNP.

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