Cape Town – Tracking cameras will be used on Saturday, 16 September, in an attempt to find the missing lion pride that is still on the loose in Fochville, West Rand.
Drew Abrahamson from Captured In Africa Foundation, told Traveller24 that they “are planning a call-up and are going to be placing camera traps in strategic positions” on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, they said that “a chopper with highly specialised thermal imaging” was on the look-out, but confirmed that no new sightings or carcasses were spotted.
When asked what are some of the biggest constraints with capturing all five lions, Abrahamson says it is “darting all at the same or similar time once we have visual on all. Preferably on bait.”
“Logistics need proper planning in place or it can all go horribly wrong. We have the full cooperation from the farming community, SAPS, Nature Conservation and general public so this has been a pleasure although a highly pressurised situation,” she adds.
The pride of five lions have been reported to be on the loose for weeks, and plans for temporary housing after capture changed.
On Sunday, 10 September, the Pit-Track K9 Conservation unit and the Captured In Africa Foundation completed proceedings to make an attempt for the capture of the lions, which included air support that were combing the area, says Carl Thornton from Pittrack. The tracking team have stood down temporarily as they change dogs and regroup.
The group have still not been able to determine the mysterious origins of the pride, but plans to temporarily house the lions at the Pretoria Zoo has changed due to space issues.
Thornton noted that they are still waiting on permits before they can disclose the new location.
Another two cows have been killed in the area on Monday, 11 September, though based on the pictures Thornton is not convinced it was the lions. “We don’t want people running around on false information,” urges Thornton. “We just need to investigate the matter before we put claims through so we can just have our information straight.”
Captured In Africa Foundation and Pit-Track K9 Conservation and Anti-Poaching have started an initiative called K9’s for Big Cats. This is an emergency reaction unit which is deployed to track and locate big cats that find themselves in compromised situations outside the safety of reserves or sanctuaries.