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SYLVESTER THE LION'S NEW LIFE

South Africa was first introduced to Sylvester the lion when he escaped Karoo National Park in June 2015. For three weeks and more than 300km, this big cat went gallivanting around the Karoo – and straight into our hearts.

After his inevitable capture, Sylvester was fitted with a satellite collar. This alerted rangers when he escaped the park yet again in March 2016. Luckily the cat with the itchy feet was recaptured three days later. To stop Sylvester from going walkabout a third time, SANParks decided to translocate him and in May 2016 he arrived in Kuzuko, a private contractual area in Addo Elephant National Park.

In his new 15,000 ha home Sylvester had no trouble making friends and finding love. He quickly bonded with two lionesses in the reserve and formed a coalition with a younger male lion named Fielies. He grew especially close to his favourite lioness, Angel, and in June 2018 she gave birth to two cubs.

Although Sylvester and Fielies have the run of the reserve, they are anything but bored, according to Gerhard de Lange, general manager of Kuzuko. “As there are two older males on Kuzuko’s western fence-line, Sylvester’s coalition is stimulated. They patrol up and down this western boundary for a couple of days a week, then they go hunt, check on the females and their cubs, and then go back to the fence again. By doing this, they keep the older males at bay,” Gerhard explained.

Read the remainder of this article by Wild on our News Page. 

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