Leopard Incident 17 July 2022

South African National Parks (SANParks) has expressed its sympathy to an employee from the Shalati Concession who was attacked by a leopard en route to work on the morning of Sunday 17 July 2022.

After fighting off the leopard and shouting for help, the animal disappeared into the surrounding bush. The injured worker was rushed to the doctor for treatment. He suffered deep lacerations and trauma but the injuries are understood not to be life threatening.

An operation was immediately launched by the Rangers Corps and the Airwing to search the immediate vicinity for the animal. It was spotted 30 metres from where the incident took place and was duly destroyed. This is the second incident where a worker has been attacked by a leopard in the recent past in the Kruger National Park (KNP).

Head Ranger Cathy Dreyer stated: “Since the first incident every effort had been made to try and capture the leopard but without success. Given the location of the incident- we suspect that the destroyed leopard is the same animal responsible for the first attack but we can never be sure. Residents and employees must be extra vigilant and avoid walking alone at all times”.

The leopard has been delivered to the State Vets to undertake a post mortem.

Jerry Mabena, the CEO of Motsamayi Tourism Group – who are the owners of Kruger Shalati and Kruger Station added: “We were shocked by this tragic incident, we are very relieved that our colleague survived this ordeal. We, together with the Management team at the concession, are committed to his recovery and will support the process in both physical and emotional wellbeing by all means. This incident is a reminder to all that wild animals in their natural habitat act on nature’s rules – we remain respectful to our presence in their territory, while ensuring the safety of our staff as well as the conservation we are here to protect as concessionaires. We support the investigation by SANParks to determine the cause of this unusual behaviour by a leopard. We thank the medical support staff who acted fast, and SANParks for their support in the incident. We wish our colleague a speedy recovery and look forward to his return to work once fully recovered”.

Issued by:    

South African National Parks (SANParks) – Kruger National Park: Communications & Marketing Department.