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Three escaped South African lions shot dead after killing cow

Three escaped South African lions shot dead after killing cow

South Africa

Three of the four lions that escaped South Africa’s Kruger National Park have been shot dead by a farmer after killing his cow.

The parks authorities said on Thursday that the farmer found them eating one of his cows and then shot one dead and wounded another.

The rangers put down the injured lion and the one that escaped the farmer, said spokeswoman for South African National Parks (SANParks) Janine Raftopoulos.

The lions were killed because of the threat they could pose after tasting the cow meat, the parks explained.

Earlier reports said four lions had escaped, but the parks authorities believe they could have been three.

Earlier same day, parks authorities said they had dispatched helicopters to aid in their search.

This is the second time lions have escaped from the main tourist attraction site in the Mpumalanga province.

Five lions escaped in May and then captured days after near the border with Swaziland.

The lions broke free from the park which is close to Komatipoort, a community of about 5,000 people.

In 2015, a lion named Sylvester crawled under an electric fence at another park and went on a three-week sheep-killing spree before he was found by rangers taking a nap.

The cat was earlier this year released back into wild from a 200-hectare holding enclosure.

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency had called on residents around the park to be vigilant and treat the animals as dangerous.

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