News World A pride of hungry lions goes to town in South Africa

A pride of hungry lions goes to town in South Africa

lion roar
Roar deal: the footloose pride is too close to human communities for comfort. Photo: Getty
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South African authorities have launched a major operation to capture a pride of lions that has moved into a semi-rural area just 60 kilometres from the commercial capital of Johannesburg.

Authorities do not know where the animals came from, as there are no nearby predator reserves, and they are astonished the big cats have chosen to claim territory so close to a major city.

The area where the animals have been sighted near the town of Fochville is a patchwork of cattle farms, open countryside, crowded squatter camps and gold mining communities.

Police said officers received a call late on Friday from a farm where the lions had attacked livestock.

“They investigated and were surprised to see a pride of five lions on the farm, busy feeding on a cow. They were able to identity a large male and four smaller lions,” a statement said.

Authorities hope a trap baited with sedatives will do the trick.

“You chain a carcass to a tree and then play a distress call of a buffalo calf,” a conservation official said, adding that the capture operation is aimed at seeing predators relocated to a wildlife reserve.