'Lionheart is doing well': Dying lion rescued after staggering across road in plea for help from safari tourists is now back on his feet.
Tourists who spotted him tried at first to get Kruger National Park staff to help, to no avail. Then they posted his picture on Facebook along with their complaints about the Park's lack of proper response. This unleashed widespread criticism of the Park on social media. Park workers finally tracked down the lion (who you can see is wearing a radio collar) and treated him.
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Completely in agony, he staggered across the road.
Knowing he was dying, he just laid there on the road, hoping humans would help him.
A dying lion who was rescued after he was found staggering across the road by tourists on safari in South Africa has apparently made a full recovery and was released back into the park.
An uplifting picture of the wild animal back on his feet has been posted on Twitter by Kruger National Park officials with the caption 'Our Lion is finding his feet again'.
Other pictures were shared on the park's official Facebook page, which said: 'Lionheart is doing well'.
'The snared lion is relieved of the snare, the wound has been treated,' Lesley Nyawo, from Kruger National Park, said on a Facebook post.
'The lion has been released into the area where it was darted. Upon assessment of the wound by the vets, it appeared not to be as bad as anticipated and displayed by images.'
The two female saviors with a friend - Images of his painful plight have resounded across social media after they were uploaded on Facebook by holidaymakers Meliska Vijoen (left) and Meike Pettit (right), who first spotted the animal in agony and with a snare around its neck.
Glenn Philips, Kruger's managing executive, acknowledged the role of social media in helping find the lion.
'Because people were able to communicate and post pictures on Facebook, we were immediately able to get a sense of the condition of the animal for our vets, and we were also able to get markers of where the lion was last seen,' Phillips said, according to CNN.
'There's a perception that it's so easy to find these animals and that's not true.'
After the tourists alerted park rangers, the road was blocked to tourists and veterinarians set off to locate the lion.
The Park's veterinary team and the sedated lion.
The injured animal was found Tuesday and tranquilised by a dart shot from a helicopter.
THE PARK'S SLOW RESPONSE TO THE TOURISTS' CALL FOR HELP.
Viljoen posted graphic pictures of the injured lion to the SANParks - Kruger National Park group on Facebook, triggering a heated reaction among users.
She wrote that her safari group 'found the lion in the road clearly asking for help', adding that she attempted to summon help for the lion without avail.
To this, one group member commented: 'I would like to see what is SANPark's reply on this....if they are going to reply at all. They are just getting money from visitors and donors, but do not care about the animals'.
After hundreds of comments, another group member said: 'I understand everyone is concerned about the lion in the snare. But can people please control their emotions? SANPark rangers are looking out for it and will attend to the animal as soon as the necessary equipment and medication are available.'
(The dying lion is shown on that picture above wearing a radio-collar. This is so that the animal can be quickly tracked down. However it took very long in finally finding him for treatment. - Blogger.)
Injured lion can easily die from infection or be killed by packs of hyena, but this particular big cat can consider itself lucky as vets managed to remove the device after working round-the-clock to save him.
At one point, the experts thought they might have to put the animal down because the snare had pierced one of its eyes.
But eventually the good news was posted to Facebook by the Wildheart Wildlife Foundation. 'All went well. The lion is now awake and will be monitored.'
He later returned into the wild.
Lions have soft skin and as they follow along game trails in national parks in search of prey, they are susceptible to getting caught in the traps.
Park rangers believe hunters may have laid the snare in the hope of catching smaller animals for food.