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from Independent Online, South Africa


Phalaborwa's man-eating lion gunned down

March 07 2002 at 11:22AM

The lion which killed a Mozambican illegal immigrant over the weekend was shot by Nature Conservation officials on Wednesday outside Phalaborwa, said Northern Province police on Thursday.

Captain Moatshe Ngoepe said the Mozambican's shirt was found in the lion's stomach during an autopsy on the animal.

He said the man was one of six Mozambicans who crossed the border illegally into South Africa, hiking through the Kruger National Park.

About 1km outside the park on Sunday, they sat down for a rest and apparently fell asleep.

Ngoepe said police believed that the lion attacked one of the men while he was sleeping and dragged his body through Phalaborwa.

The lion was spotted by commandos who fired at the animal who then dropped the man and ran away.

The victim's brother was detained by police and the other four men have not been found.

Ngoepe said the man along with the body of his brother will be sent back to Mozambique.

He said it was still not known which park the lion escaped from, but it was possible that the animal could have lived on a game farm near Phalaborwa or Hoedspruit. - Sapa

2002. All rights strictly reserved.

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