A Shalati Concession employee in the Kruger National Park was attacked by a leopard this morning – Sunday 17 July – on his way to work. According to the South African National Parks (SANParks) the man is recovering, but the leopard has been located and ‘destroyed’ as this is the second attack in recent times in the area.
The Kruger Shalati employee apparently fought off the leopard and shouted for help before the animal disappeared into the surrounding bush.
SANParks said the injured worker was rushed to the doctor for treatment. « He suffered deep lacerations and trauma but the injuries are understood not to be life threatening, » said SANParks.
An operation was immediately launched by the Rangers Corps and the Airwing to search the immediate vicinity for the animal. The leopard was spotted 30 metres from where the incident took place and was « duly destroyed », SANParks said in a media statement on Sunday afternoon.
This is the second incident in which a worker has been attacked by a leopard in the recent past in the Kruger National Park (KNP).
Head Ranger Cathy Dreyer says:
“Since the first incident every effort had been made to try and 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 but we can never be sure. Residents and employees must be extra vigilant and avoid walking alone at all times.”
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: “We were shocked by this tragic incident, we are very relieved that our colleague survived this ordeal. We, together with the Management team at the concession, are committed to his recovery and will support the process in both physical and emotional wellbeing by all means.
« 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 as well as the conservation we are here to protect as concessionaires. We support the investigation by SANParks to determine the cause of this unusual behaviour by a leopard.
« 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. »