Hyenas spotted wandering near Croc Bridge on Sunday

Hyenas spotted near Komatipoort in the direction of Crocodile Bridge.

KOMATIPOORT – Three hyenas were spotted on the road towards Crocodile Bridge early on Sunday morning.

Securicon Lowveld sent an alert out to their clients, warning them not to jog or cycle on the road between Komatipoort and the Crocodile Bridge Gate of the Kruger National Park (KNP) and to be vigilant.

They suspected that the three hyenas escaped from the KNP through one of the farms in the area. It was later reported that the animals had moved onto a nearby farm.

MTPA spokesperson, Kholofelo Nkambule confirmed the sighting and said that officials in the field were monitoring the situation. The hyenas did not pose any immediate danger to the community.

READ: KNP announces a drop in rhinos poached in 2018

Hyenas are pack animals that are mostly active during the night and are usually sighted at dusk and dawn. They are hunters, but tend to scavenge kills from other predators. They are known to rest in bushes and tall grass, storm drains and rainwater culverts.

A hyena spotted resting in a culvert near Komatipoort. Photos supplied

Nkambule stated that the MTPA works with local police, the KNP and other authorities whenever wild animals escape from the park or local game reserves. Their priorities are to ensure the safety of both the community and the animals. “We use all means at our disposal, including social media, to send out warnings to the community,” Nkambule explained.

Nkambule stated that the reasons for the animals’ escape could not be attributed to seasonal factors, but mentioned that many alerts come from areas such as Matsulu, Marloth Park and Komatipoort.

Nkambule urged people who spot dangerous wild animals on the loose to be very vigilant, to be respectful of the animals and not to provoke them.

“If you receive a notification, don’t go looking for them. Avoid interaction, as you never know how a wild animal might react to your presence,” she warned.

READ about the lions that escaped the KNP last year: Four lions recaptured after escape from KNP

Community members can report sightings to their local police station, as the SAPS work closely with the MTPA, or the MTPA on 013-759-5300/01. Several lions have been spotted roaming the area over the past few months.

Last Sunday morning, a lion dubbed Napoleon caused a stir on social media when he was photographed walking across the N4 near Marloth Park.

Various authorities; including the SAPS, SANParks, MTPA and Mpumalanga Veterinary Services; and community members worked together to search for the lion and even closed the road at one stage.

A couple of hours later, a SANParks helicopter spotted and darted him. He was transported back to the KNP. On August 15, residents reportedly spotted a lion near Matsulu. Authorities could only find tracks and assumed the animals had returned to the KNP.

On July 3, two lions were seen wandering around the farms and properties close to the Malelane Gate. They were monitored and eventually made their own way back into the KNP.

READ: Lions wandering around Malalane find their way back to the KNP

  AUTHOR
Retha Nel

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