A man was killed and eaten by two lions in the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Thursday July 28, 2005. Rangers shot the male lion in their efforts to retrieve the body. The lioness ran away and has not been found since. Rangers will not search for the lioness as it will be difficult to identify her.
The man, who was loitering around the entrance the whole day, ran into the KNP bush just as the security guards opened the Phalaborwa service gate for outgoing cars. He eluded the security staff, but visitors gave chase in their cars and apprehended him. He broke loose and disappeared into the bush where cars could not follow.
"The rangers were alerted and started looking for him, but, because of the rapidly descending darkness, could not locate him and the search had to be called off," says Raymond Travers, spokesperson for the Park. At first light, rangers resumed their search and eventually found the lions at the man's remains about 3km from the gate.
It is suspected the man was homeless and though many people recognised him, nobody seems to know who he was. "We wish to send our sincere sympathies to the man's next of kin as we truly regret the unnecessary loss of life," said Dr Bandile Mkhize, executive director of the KNP. The police are investigating.