A pride of lions on the loose in the Mananga area of Mpumalanga have taken refuge in sugar cane.
The predators are understood to have escaped from the Kruger National Park.
Rangers and police have now been deployed to the farming district‚ which flanks the park and the border of Swaziland.
South African National Parks (SANParks) spokesman Reynold Thakhuli said early on Tuesday that heavy mist had rolled in‚ making the search difficult.
“Right now the mist is so thick and we think that the lions are in the sugar cane somewhere. They also may have split up‚” he said.
“Our rangers are on the scene monitoring the situation with the police and when the fog lifts they will move in. We will likely have to dart the lions‚” he said.
He added that it was still unclear how the big cats and gotten out of the park.
Motorists in the area have been warned to exercise caution.
Police spokesman Leonard Hlathi‚ speaking to Jacaranda FM‚ told motorists to stay in their vehicles while travelling on the N4.
“People should be extra cautious. They must not park their vehicles for answering the call of nature‚” he added.
This is a developing story.