Sylvester, the South African lion who grabbed headlines last year by skipping his game-reserve and going AWOL (Absent Without Leave), is once again on the loose.
This time around, he is believed to have escaped the game-reserve by crawling under an electric fence guarding the area after heavy rains dislodged earth over the weekend. Reports from the South African National Parks (SANParks) authority indicate that Sylvester is currently wandering a sparsely-populated mountain region.
“We realized early yesterday morning when they check all the satellite tracking collars that he had escaped. We are awaiting a helicopter to begin an aerial search,” said a SANParks official.
On his jaunt last June, Sylvester wandered over 300 kilometers while engaged in a sheep-killing spree. He was eventually tracked and captured while taking a nap high on the Nuweveld Mountains, around 1,750 meters above sea-level; he was airlifted back to the reserve.
“We anticipate this operation will be a lot quicker this time because he is wearing a tracking collar,” said the Park official. Sylvester’s truancy comes in the wake of reports over the weekend that a lion roaming in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, which injured a man, was shot dead by wildlife rangers. It is believed to be the fourth time this year that lions have roamed outside Nairobi National Park and the second time someone has been injured by a lion in less than two weeks.