Leopard mauls 2-year-old in Kruger National Park

Posted on 6 June 2019

Kruger National Park has confirmed that a leopard killed a staff member’s son at 8pm last night, 5 June 2019 at the Malelane Technical Services living quarters.

The toddler was only thirty months old. Family members rushed him to the Shongwe hospital after he had been mauled by the leopard, but the young boy was certified dead by doctors there.

The Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, Fundisile Mketeni, has extended his condolences to the family of the deceased, saying, ‘Our prayers and thoughts are with the family during this trying time, we wish them strength and will give them all the support they need as an organisation. It is never easy to lose a loved one especially under such tragic circumstances, this is the risk we live with on a daily basis as we help conserve our species for the benefit of all.

‘May the young toddler’s soul rest in eternal peace.’

Immediately upon hearing of the incident, the Section Ranger and his Lance Corporal, with help from the Regional Ranger, went out to search for the animal.

The offending animal was found and shot dead to remove the danger of another person falling victim.

In parks like the KNP, predators do interact with tourists and staff and at times it may result in species like leopard getting habituated to people and losing their fear of them.

This change in natural behaviour is what can lead to tragic incidents such as this, an unfortunate risk of living and working in environments like the KNP.

These heartbreaking events are very rare occurrences.

KNP Management has sent a delegation to the family to give moral support, and professional counselling will be provided to all involved.

The name of the deceased has been withheld and will be released once all family members have been notified.


Image source: Pixabay

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