Lions shot in defence of farm hands and livestock

MARA VALLEY – The owner of the farm where three lions were shot last week wants to keep a low profile after receiving negative comments on how he and his brother had dealt with the situation.

“People are not happy, so I would rather like to keep a low profile,” said Mr Barend Janse van Rensburg.

The three lions escaped from the Kruger National Park (KNP) and were spotted in various locations around the area. It was previously reported that there were four lions, but this was later corrected.

The KNP tried, without success, to lure the felines back to the park by placing bait in various areas.

“The team worked under a lot of pressure to ensure that progress was made with this search,” said the park’s spokesman, Mr William Mabasa.

The lions were spotted on the farm in the Crocodile River Conservancy on Wednesday, where they were seen feeding on a cow’s carcass.

“One of my labourers came running to me saying he had seen two lions feeding on a cow,” said Van Rensburg.

He explained that at first he was unsure of what the law stipulated in this regard, but knew he was protecting his livestock, the staff and their livestock, and himself.

His brother, Isak shot one of the lions, but the other escaped. On Thursday morning they found that the two remaining ones had eaten more of the carcass.

They shot and wounded one of them and called the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency.”He (Mashimbyi) quickly hit the brakes and tried to make a quick left turn, and that is when he lost control and the truck overturned,” said Nkambule.

“This was not done in malice,” said Van Rensburg.

“I am now sitting with calves without mothers and one of my labourers to whom some of the cows belong, has also lost greatly.”

He added that the lions were shot for everyone’s safety as they were all in danger.

Mabasa said there will be no legal action taken against the Van Rensburgs.

Bombi Mavundza

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