SANParks doesn't know where 14 roaming lions came from
The 14 lions that have been roaming around the Phalaborwa area are being "closely monitored by field rangers".
This is according to the Limpopo economic development, environment and tourism department after the pride was spotted near the area's Foskor mine.
"The lions are to be captured and released back at Kruger National Park," the department said. "Employees at Foskor mine and the public are advised to be alert at all times."
SANParks, however, said it was unsure whether the lions had in fact escaped from the Kruger National Park.
"SANParks is not certain these are Kruger lions," said spokesperson Isaac Phaahla. "Indications are that the pride established this area as theirs some time back and the department, which is the authority in Limpopo, was made aware. The agency never dealt with the problem until it became a public issue," he said.
"SANParks has facilitated a meeting that resolved that the department should lead a process to relocate the pride with the help of other stakeholders.
"There are protocols that the department is familiar with."
Exactly how the lions escaped is still unclear.
"How they landed where they are is still a mystery and SANParks will not want speculate," said Phaahla.