Kruger National Park: First Hand Experience of Poaching

Monday 24 August 09, Neil, owner of Dreamfields Guesthouse was witness to an unfortunate lion that had been caught in a poacher’s snare:

I arrived at a lion sighting to find that one of the 2 male lions had been caught around the neck in a snare and obviously struggled to brake free, tightening the wire noose so it cut into the lion’s neck. One of the Field guides at the sight had already notified the Kruger Park authorities and was on their way. (The injury was caused by illegal human activity and not nature so the authorities have an obligation to help). The vet arrived and darted the lion and then tracked it 150m into the bush where they found the sleeping beast. Unfortunately they were not able to carry the lion to the road and so asked for assistance from myself and the other guide present. We (7 of us) carried the sleeping giant to the road where the vet removed the snare and treated the wound. I was glad I could do my bit for conservation, and hopefully the lion will recover.
The lion was not the intended target but was unlucky to fall foul of a trap probably set for antelope or pig.

It is an unfortunate reality that poaching is still rife in the area, as fences are all too easily breached in order for poachers to operate.

Neil – Dreamfields Guesthouse

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