SANParks released a statement earlier confirming that a ranger did shoot and kill a lion after it entered a rest camp in the Kruger National Park.
A concerned visitor posted on the SANParks Facebook group asking why she had heard gunshots at two in the morning, the visitor suspected that it was a poaching accident.
A while later Ike Phaahla, the communication and marketing manager, released a statement confirming an accident had occurred:
“Early this morning a lion entered the Berg n Dal living quarters. The Ranger was called to the scene and tried to coax the animal out of the area with no success. Regrettably the animal had to be destroyed because of the threat to human life. A post mortem will be conducted this morning as the lion was not in a good condition”
The statement was not received well by members of the group, many wondering why the lion was not darted and moved out the camp.
Accidents have occurred in the Kruger when animals have entered the camps, In 2016 a hyena attacked a boy while he was sleeping in his tent at Crocodile Bridge, it had clamped its jaw around his head, and the boy had to be rushed to hospital.
Berg en Dal has a large camping area and the ranger probably thought it was safer for everyone to kill the lion before it attacked visitors inside the camp, the lion wasn’t in great condition and was likely looking for a meal.
Berg en Dal seems to have a serious problem with animals getting inside the camp because in December of 2019 a leopard was seen inside the camp, luckily it was darted and relocated.