4 min read

Lion Defies Poachers With His Determination To Survive

Park rangers at the world-famous Kruger National Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, released an urgent plea over the weekend:

Help find a lion who had been severely injured by a poacher's snare.

"We ask all the guides and people on Holiday to please keep a look out for this snared lion seen 2 km south of Lower Sabie yesterday afternoon," the post read.

Snares, like the one that injured this lion, are a cruel method favored by poachers. They function in the same way as a slip knot, but one made of wire that tightens and sometimes cuts through skin as the animal tugs on it. The animals remain trapped until the hunter returns, and often injure or kill themselves as a result of trying to escape.

Perhaps fortunately, the line holding this lion in place broke free. He had been spotted on Sunday and Monday with the snare still tightly wrapped around his neck, the remainder of the leash trailing behind him.

Finally, on Tuesday afternoon, rangers located the lion. They sedated him and carefully removed the torturous device from his neck

Despite the bloody wounds left by the snare (click here for a graphic photo), on-site veterinarians determined that the lion would recover best in the wild.

So shortly after he awoke from his drug-induced slumber, rangers released him back into the area where they found him.

The park rangers showed their gratitude to the helpful public in a post on Facebook:

"On behalf of Kruger National Park Management, we take this opportunity to thank you all for the contribution and support we received from when the lion was reported up to its rescue."

Snares take the lives of countless animals every day - and the rangers are well aware how lucky this lion was to escape.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons snares are so popular is that they're so effective at killing. In just one year, 1,000 snares can trap over 18,000 animals, many of them elephants who are killed for their ivory.

And snares aren't limited to Africa. They're also popular in the U.S., where they catch animals such as this bobcat and this family of pet dogs.

Want to support the protection of African wildlife such as elephants and lions? Learn more about what you can do to help by visiting The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.