Ranger lion attack

Image via: Pilanesberg National Park & Wildlife Trust / Facebook

Anti-poaching ranger attacked and killed by lion in Pilanesberg

Following the deadly attack on the ranger early on Saturday morning, other members of the patrol shot and killed the lion.

Ranger lion attack

Image via: Pilanesberg National Park & Wildlife Trust / Facebook

An anti-poaching ranger lost his life on Saturday 6 February 2021 after being attacked by a lion in Pilanesberg in the North West. Kobus Marias was fatally injured and was declared dead on the scene, the North West Parks Board confirmed. 


Around 6:30 on Saturday, rangers of the Rhino Protection Unit in Pilanesberg conducted a scheduled fence foot patrol in the east of the park. According to the North West Parks Board, the patrol was attacked by a lion and Marias was fatally injured. 

“Other members of the patrol managed to shoot and kill the lion. Mr Marias was declared dead on the scene. Arrangements have been made for counselling of staff involved, as well as his other colleagues in the park. The incident is being investigated,” it said. 

“The Board would like to express their sincerest condolences to his wife and family, as well as friends and colleagues,” it added. 

The Pilanesberg National Park & Wildlife Trust took to social media and said that they lost a true wildlife warrior and nature lover.

“While out on patrol, Kobus  Marais of the K-9 unit and 2 other RPU staff, were laying a track for Kobus’s K9 patrol dog. Unbeknown to Kobus, a very thin, poor conditioned lion was probably lying in wait. The RPU staff attempted to get the lion off Kobus when he was attacked but their efforts were unsuccessful,” it said. 


The Pilanesberg National Park & Wildlife Trust went on to say that the Rhinos lost a true friend in the late ranger after the tragic lion attack.  

“Kobus was loved by all the staff in the Pilanesberg. He was a kind and compassionate person. To Lottie Marais, his wife, we express our most heartfelt condolences.  We are so, so sorry for your tragic loss,” it said. 

“Also his family and all the friends. You are all in our thoughts. Kobus you have left a void in so many lives and you will be greatly missed. Thank you for your contribution. You paid the highest price. May you rest in peace dear friend,” it added. 

Captain Elsabe Augoustides, spokesperson for the Rustenburg Bojanala Sub-District 2, said an inquest was registered at the Mogwase police station and is currently being investigated.