Kwandwe the lion sleeps: Roaming feline darted and captured

A large lion that was roaming around in the Kameeldrift area, north of Pretoria has been captured.

The large male named Kwandwe was darted on Thursday by Dinokeng Game Reserve’s vets and returned safely to the reserve.

Kwandwe the lion, was seen moving around the Buffelsdrift conservation area and Haakdoornlaagte early on Thursday morning.

Rangers dart and capture Kwandwe the lion

Pawprints of the big cat were found over Buffelweg and into Rynoue. This was in the vicinity of some smallholdings.

Rangers from Dinokeng Game Reserve were called to help dart and capture the lion.

David Boshoff, Dinokeng Game Reserve manager said they had introduced a new male lion – named Kwandwe to the reserve on 3 June 2021 as part of their lion management.

“We host free-roaming lions – they have to fend for themselves – but still we have to implement formal lion management, as any smaller game reserve.”

He said the new lion was swapped with another reserve to keep the gene pool healthy.

Photo: Facebook

THE LION MANAGED TO BREAK OUT OF THE RESERVE

“Such swaps and introductions always come with a risk. Animals need to be darted and transported over long distances, they find themselves in new unknown territories and they may want to get back to where they came from.”

Boshoff said although closely monitored the male lion managed to break out from the game reserve.

“With trackers on the ground and with the support of helicopters, we were able to locate him in the Buffelsdrift area,
dart him and bring him safely back into the reserve.

“He will be placed in the predator boma to give him time to settle in and get rid of his homing instinct. He will be collared, to ensure we can track him closely.”

Boshoff added that no lion nor humans were harmed in the process.

Kwandwe the lion Photo: Facebook

ALL PARTIES INVOLVED WORKED TOGETHER

“At the Dinokeng Game Reserve we believe applying the spirit of UBUNTU to the environment will make the world a
better place. If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us.”

Petrus Nel, spokesperson for the Kameeldrift CPF said they were relieved that the lion was darted.

“A community member saw the lion roaming around and informed all relevant parties. We were able to close the area off not only to ensure the safety of the community but also to ensure the paw prints were not compromised by any vehicles entering the area.”

Nel said all parties involved worked very well together and once spotted the lion was chased with the helicopter in the direction of the ranger – who darted the lion.

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Presh JM Reporter

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