The man-eating lions of the Kruger National Park

Every day there are illegal immigrants from Mozambique making their way from the border through the Kruger National Park and into South Africa. These people are obviously desperate to find work.

During the daytime, there are helicopters, aeroplanes, vehicles as well as foot patrols that increase the chances of these people been found. With all this daytime activity, the immigrants are forced to hide during the daylight and then travel at night.
They can’t use torches (flash-lights) as someone might see them, so to be safe they follow the telephone and electrical power-lines or look for lights up on the Drakensberg Mountains as a guideline.

The one other major problem that they have is the lions. The lions close to the Mozambique/Kruger Park border have regular encounters with these people and as a result there are a few prides that have taken to man-eating. The lions normally sleep during the day and start to hunt at night, at the same time when the illegal immigrants are walking through the reserve. So you can imagine how many people are eaten every year.

In the past many of these lions were destroyed just like many other man-eaters, but this does not solve the problem. When a pride of lions are destroyed, the territory that they once lived in is now vacant, making it available for other lions to move in. The new lions that move in also have regular encounters with people and possibly turn to man-eating. These lions are destroyed as well making the territory available once again.

As long as there are people moving through the border and as long as there are lions on the border this problem will always be there.
Fortunately it is not common to find man-eating lions in the areas in Kruger where
tourists travel and stay.

For futher reading visit: Man-eating lions.

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