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Lion kills Impala on school sports field

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Ingwe's picture
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Lion kills Impala on school sports field

Not your average school day

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Lions kill buck on sportsfield 12/02/2007 19:48 - (SA) Guy Jepson

Nelspruit - Lions killed an impala on a school sports field - shortly before an interschools tournament was to be held.

Staff at Skukuza Primary School in the Kruger National Park had to remove the carcass so that the athletics meeting could go ahead on Saturday.

"They killed the buck on the track itself - right on the 80m mark," said school principal Jannie Geldenhuys on Monday.

He said the kill must have happened on Thursday night, because the remains were found on Friday morning.

"We removed bits of guts and other remains still lying there. It was quite safe. The lions were gone already," he said.

He said the lions were later spotted in the village and Kruger rangers chased them away.

He said the athletics track and rugby field, like the rest of the staff village, were not fenced off, unlike the tourist rest camp.

A way of life

The school hosted an annual athletics meeting involving about 250 children from six local schools.

"I showed some of the kids the place where we removed the remains and they enjoyed it," said Geldenhuys.

He said about 400 people, mainly Kruger employees and their families, lived in the village.

"Animals do move through now and then and are sometimes spotted on the rugby field and golf course, but in the day time they move out again.

"All our yards are fenced off. It's quite safe to walk around during the day, but no one is allowed to be on foot after dark - you have to drive. It's a way of life - you have to be careful."


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Katja's quote:

Quote:
"The fences are not there to keep the animals out but to keep the people inside the camp".

Forgive the personal reference..but that quote, katja, reminded me of what i think of each time i see this picture. There is our infamous 'one-tusk ' outside the fence roaming free and wild and i am the one fenced in. Oh, and there was a ranger taking the pic so i felt a bit safer/protected as we whispered to each other then tip-toed, slowly, backing our way into the office.

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"Landi" wrote:
I believe that the reason for fencing the camps but not fencing some of the staff areas (noting that each house is fenced separately in Skukuza as is the school, but not the church, sportsfields and golf course) is to do with the fact that they do not have the manpower to monitor each and every tourist visiting a camp, and believe me people do behave is very strange ways when they see wild animals for the first time, and therefore have to keep them enclosed.

Very true, Landi.
That reminds me of something someone said on the SANParks Forum.
"The fences are not there to keep the animals out but to keep the people inside the camp". Eye-wink

Anonymous
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Most staff villages in the Kruger are fenced as are parts of Skukuza's village. Most of the private lodges outside of Kruger are unfenced (both the tourist and the staff areas), however there have been very few incidences of attacks on humans in the camps over the years.

Significantly more people die on South Africa's roads each day than would be killed by wild animals in a year.

I believe that the reason for fencing the camps but not fencing some of the staff areas (noting that each house is fenced separately in Skukuza as is the school, but not the church, sportsfields and golf course) is to do with the fact that they do not have the manpower to monitor each and every tourist visiting a camp, and believe me people do behave is very strange ways when they see wild animals for the first time, and therefore have to keep them enclosed.

For someone visiting for the first time, the thrill of seeing an elephant up close may cloud their judgement completely and they may try to walk up to it to get a picture. It is incredible how many people think that because they saw a close up of an elephant on National Geographic channel they can do the same with their little handycam, not realising that the documentary was made with numerous cameras often with massive and expensive zoon lenses.

For the staff, they probably make them aware of the dangers when they first arrive to work there and they then have to take responsibility for their own actions. I don't know the KNP's disciplinary code but am certain that a staff member will face disciplinary action if they behave recklessly with wild animals. You cannot take the same action against a tourist - you can fine them or kick them out the park, but they wont loose their job.

Landi

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"DrSnuggles" wrote:
And as you say, one woman got killed in the Staff Camp, dont you think, its time to fence it in now ?
I have often wondered why the tourist camps have fences and the staff village in Skukuza doesn't. Is it not considered necessary (even after the woman got killed by a leopard during the day), is there no money for it or is there another reason that never occured to me?

Killed staff members probably don't make as many international headlines as killed tourists but can still be bad publicity for the Park.

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Good Morning Landi,

the reason for going to the Employee camp was the Swimming Pool for our Daughter. She was 6 y. that time. The Swimming Pool is fenced in, I guess to avoid the Buffalo and Elephants joining in the Afternoon Swim.

Never Mind having ppl of the Staff running around outside their Camp as long they are mature to do so. But even I wouldnt let my Daughter now walking or cycling around on the tared roads of the KNP out of sight even she would be born there.

You know how the KNP Roads are, it makes a bend, you only see 50 yards front and 50 yards back, no one sees you, and suddenly Kid is gone.

My Pilosophy in this case is, " I love my Kid, I can only loose her once"

And as you say, one woman got killed in the Staff Camp, dont you think, its time to fence it in now ?

Anonymous
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The difference is that most of those people live there and their kids grow up there learning about the dangers posed by wild animals living around them. You wont find those people walking around their village at night and if they do see anything dangerous, they will back off and leave the animal alone.

Most tourists don't realise the dangers and try to do stupid things like get a close up of a lions face with their new cellphone camera to send to the friends back home.

The reason they dont want tourists to visit the staff village is that they see people walking around and think that they can do the same anywhere else in the park and as there are a lot more tourists than staff members the odds are that the tourist will be a victim, which isn't good for business.

Landi

PS - a woman was killed by a leopard in the staff village at Skukuza a few years ago.

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Yes , Ingwe,

I remember, when we were in the KNP in 2001. We went from the Skukuza Guest Camp (for the Tourists, like us) to the Employees Village, even it was not officcially allowed. But as the Employee Village had a Pool and the Guest Camp not.

On the way, to the Employee Camp , through the Bush, away from the Tourists, the Kids were Bicycle riding , others were jogging, etc.

So far to the Subject "Dont get out of the car inside the KNP"

Certainly, all would go away, if Lions, etc were spotted. But who could prevent the Kids from the Employees of an old hungry male Lion turning into a Man Eater.

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