Escaped Lion on the Loose Near Hartbeespoort Dam Spotted Near Hennops Hiking Trial, Search Efforts Underway

Escaped Lion on the Loose Near Hartbeespoort Dam Spotted Near Hennops Hiking Trial, Search Efforts Underway

  • A rescue team in Hartbeespoort Dam is on the hunt for a lion that was sighted roaming around the Hennops hiking trail
  • Searchers don't know where the lion escaped from, but SAPS in the North West and Gauteng are contacting wildlife facilities to determine the animal's origins
  • This is the fourth wild cat escape reported in South Africa since the beginning of 2023

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HARTBEESPOORT DAM - Yet another lion has been sighted roaming freely near Hartbeesport Dam, North West, prompting a search for the predator.

Rescuers are looking for a lion on the loose in the Hartbeespoort Dam area
A lion is on the loose in Hartbeespoort Dam in the fourth wild cat escape of 2023. Image: stock photo
Source: Getty Images

A reaction officer from security company SRU Strategic Response Unit spotted the lion at around 2am on Wednesday, 8 March, near the Hennops hiking trail.

Search team deploys drones to trace escaped Harties lion

The officer called the sighting in and SRU deployed a conservation and rescue team to search for the wild animal.

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SRU's Arthur Crewe said the search team is employing technology such as drones to trace the lion and is trying to ensure the animal is rescued safely, SowetanLIVE reported.

Crewe has cautioned residents against approaching the lion or shooting it if it crosses their path and implored people to contact the security company if there is another sighting.

The origins of escaped Hartbeesport Dam lion are still unclear

It isn't clear where the lion escaped from at this stage, but police in the North West and Gauteng have contacted wildlife facilities to get a head count and determine the lion's origins, SABC News reported.

This latest incident is the fourth in a string of wildcat escapes in the last three months. In January, two tigers escaped in Johannesburg in separate incidents, followed by a lion escape in the North West.

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Recurring wild cat escapes are setting South Africans on edge

Here's how South Africans reacted to the latest wild cat escape.

@selaolelo asked:

"These lions are unleashed or let loose intentionally."

@TrevorMiltonhof demanded:

"Withdraw/revoke all public animal holding licences. We have a pandemic, clearly."

@WesleyNku complained:

"This country is worse than Jumanji."

@Raesetj56169165 joked:

"The animals are also tired of loadshedding. That's why they are roaming the street."

@TommieRetief requested:

"Please, the person who finds the lion, may he or she not kill it but save it and feed it in a closed-care environment made for lions."

Cheetah walks into Mzansi resort with guests inside in viral clip: “Would have screamed my lungs out”

Briefly News previously reported that a rare sight of a wild cheetah walking among humans gave people on the internet endless shivers.

In the video posted by @jacog9, the king of speed can be seen looking around the resort area without attacking anybody.

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The guests looked very calm in the presence of the dangerous animal like they were familiar with him.

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Source: Briefly News

Lerato Mutsila avatar

Lerato Mutsila (Current affairs editor) Lerato Mutsila is a journalist with 3 years of experience. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Pearson Institute of Higher Education in 2020, majoring in broadcast journalism, political science and communication. Lerato joined the Briefly News current affairs desk in August 2022. Mutsila is also a fellow of the 2021/2022 Young African Journalists Acceleration programme, which trained African journalists in climate journalism. You can contact Lerato at

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