Lions new at Mountain Zebra park

Lee-Anne Butler

THREE lions were released into the Mountain Zebra National Park near Cradock yesterday, becoming the first free-roaming lions in the area in more than 130 years.

The lions, which are the third predator species to be reintroduced to the park, following the release of cheetahs in 2007 and brown hyena in 2008, are expected to enhance the park’s tourism potential as well as have a positive impact on its biodiversity.

The lions were held in the park’s boma until yesterday morning to allow them to acclimatise to their new surroundings, ahead of their release.

The three-year-old lioness, which came from Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West, had been at the park since February, while the two males, both aged 2½ years, arrived from Welgevonden Game Reserve in Limpopo earlier this month.

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