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from Independent Online, South Africa


Lion kills man, drags body through town

March 03 2002 at 04:30PM

A lion killed a Mozambican illegal immigrant and dragged his body through the town of Phalaborwa on Saturday night, Limpopo (formerly known as Northern Province) police said on Sunday.

Inspector James Ngoepe said the lion has since disappeared and the police and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were still searching for the animal by 2.30pm on Sunday.

Ngoepe said the immigrant, aged around 35, illegally crossed the border to South Africa and then hiked through the Kruger National Park.

About 1km outside the reserve, he sat down for a rest and apparently fell asleep.

Ngoepe said police believed the lion attacked him while he was sleeping and then dragged his body into town.

"Commandos saw the lion walking in a street in central town, carrying the body. This happened between 10pm and midnight."

They fired shots at the animal, which then dropped the man and ran away.

Ngoepe said he was still missing and appealed to members of the public to immediately contact the police if they spotted the lion.

He said it was not clear whether the carnivore belonged to the Kruger National Park.

"The police have not yet found any holes in the park's fence where the animal could have escaped."

Ngoepe said 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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