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Sylvester the Lion arriving at Addo Elephant National Park on Friday

MAY 26, 2016
Sylvester the Lion arriving at Addo Elephant National Park on Friday

Sylvester the Lion, the lion which captured the imagination of the world when he escaped from Karoo National Park for a second time earlier this year, will be relocated to Addo Elephant National Park on Friday, the South African National Parks (SANParks) said.

SANParks made the announcement about his imminent move last month not long after his recapture.  

Dubbed 'Sylvester' in the media, the lion will be moved into a boma within an existing 200ha enclosure in the Kuzuko contractual area of Addo Elephant National Park (AENP).

"It’s expected that he will bond with two young female cubs already in the larger enclosure, and ultimately establish himself as the resident pride male," described Fayroush Ludick, Regional Manager: Communications, SANParks.  

"In the longer term, the lions will then be released into the Park when the fence between Kuzuko and the neighbouring Darlington section of the Park is ped, which will provide them with 60 000ha over which to roam.

"The decision to relocate the lion was one of several which were considered, and was the one with the most benefits for the lion, as well as SANParks’ broader predator management programme."

The lion first escaped from Karoo National Park on 5 June last year, and managed to evade capture for over three weeks.

After his capture he was fitted with a combination satellite/VHF collar to find his location should he manage to get out again. This collar then alerted authorities on 28 March that the lion had once again left the Park’s boundary, and played a big role in tracking him and returning him back to the Park much quicker – three days later on 31 March.

"He’s been kept in a boma in the Park since, and will now be making his way to Addo Elephant National Park."