A South African National Parks employee from the Shalati Concession was attacked by a leopard en route to work on the morning of Sunday, July 17.
According to SANParks, after fighting off the leopard and shouting for help, the animal disappeared into the surrounding bush. They rushed the injured worker to the doctor for treatment. He suffered deep lacerations and trauma, but they understand the injuries not to be life threatening.
“The Rangers Corps and the Airwing immediately launched an operation to search the immediate vicinity for the animal. It was spotted 30 metres from where the incident took place and was duly destroyed.” This is the second incident where a worker has been attacked by a leopard in the recently in the Kruger National Park.
“Since the first incident, we had tried to capture the leopard, but without success. Given the location of the incident, we suspect that the destroyed leopard is the same animal responsible for the first attack. However, we can never be sure. Residents and employees must be extra vigilant and avoid walking alone at all times,” said Head Ranger Cathy Dreyer.
The leopard has been delivered to the State Vets to undertake a post mortem. Jerry Mabena, the CEO of Motsamayi Tourism Group – who are the owners of Kruger Shalati and Kruger Station added, “this tragic incident shocked us. We are very relieved that our colleague survived this ordeal. Together with the Management team at the concession, are committed to his recovery. We will support the process in both physical and emotional wellbeing by all means.
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“This incident is a reminder to all that wild animals in their natural habitat act on nature’s rules – we remain respectful to our presence in their territory, while ensuring the safety of our staff and the conservation we are here to protect as concessionaires. The cause of the unusual behavior of a leopard is being investigated by the SANParks. We thank the medical support staff who acted fast, and SANParks for their support in the incident. We wish our colleague a speedy recovery and look forward to his return to work once fully recovered.”