lioness lion north west

Portrait of a lioness. Photo via Adobe Stock

Game tracker mauled to death by two lions at Limpopo wildlife reserve

The lions were found still devouring the victim’s body and were both immediately shot and killed by the rangers.

lioness lion north west

Portrait of a lioness. Photo via Adobe Stock

The weekend saw the tragic death of a tracker at a Limpopo lodge. Two lionesses attacked the tracker during the course of his normal duties that involve checking for wildlife to assist guides with planning their game drives.

Lions killed wildlife tracker

The unfortunate incident occurred on Saturday and is currently the subject of a police inquest. Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the tracker was performing his duties at the wildlife reserve at the time of the attack:

“It is alleged that he was driving around in the bush, checking where animals such as elephants, lions and others were to advise the guides as and when they do game drives”.

According to Mojapelo, the game tracking specialist then reportedly stopped his vehicle to continue his search on foot. “As he was walking, he was attacked and killed by two lionesses”, Mojapelo explained.

Officials attending to the scene said the lions were found still devouring the victim’s body. Both lions immediately shot and killed by the rangers.

Limpopo wildlife tracker identified

The tracker has since been identified as Malibongwe Mfila, aged 27. He was employed as a tracker at Marataba Safari Lodge; which is situated in the Marakele National Park in Limpopo’s Waterberg district in Thabazimbi.

The attack was witnessed by someone else driving in the park. The eyewitness saw lionesses with the body and alerted the park manager. The lionesses were put down as per conservation policies.

“When the lion acts like that, obviously it will repeat the same deed”.

Lions euthanised

The South African National Parks authority, SANParks, confirmed that the two lions were euthanised immediately after the attack. Post-mortems will be performed on their bodies.

Moreover, SANParks Acting Head of Communications Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli said “at this stage, the South African Police Services has taken over the scene and the investigation is currently ensuing.”

Furthermore, SANParks Chief Executive Officer Fundisile Mketeni said the incident left staff “distraught”. He added, “condolences to the family, friends and staff at Marataba Contractual Park during this difficult time.”

Anti-poaching ranger killed

Back in February 2021, an anti-poaching ranger, Kobus Marais, was fatally injured and lost his life after being attacked by a lion in Pilanesberg in the North West.

The North West Parks Board at the time explained that other members of the patrol “managed to shoot and kill the lion”. Unfortunately, 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”.

Read the full account here: Anti-poaching ranger attacked and killed by lion in Pilanesberg