Toddler killed by a leopard in Kruger Park in South Africa

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In a statement, the park said rangers had killed the leopard.

SANParks, which is also aiding the tracking and recapture effort, noted that the escape was not a recent occurrence and that the lions have previously been spotted outside of the Kruger National Park's perimeters. "The boy was certified dead by doctors at the Shongwe hospital after being rushed there by family members".

"We are now still tracking where exactly they managed to escape from the Kruger National Park, but at the moment they are roaming around Foskor mine around Phalaborwa", Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) spokesperson Zaid Kalla said.

The park said animals sometimes get used to humans and lose their fear of them.

South African National Parks CEO Fundisile Mketeni has extended his condolences to the family of the victim.

The toddler was the son of a staff member and was living in Malelane Technical Services living quarters, in the park's south, when the leopard attacked late on Wednesday night (local time). The change in natural behaviour can then lead to unfortunate incidents such as this. "It's an unfortunate risk having to work and live in those kinds of environments", he said.

"This is the risk we live with on a daily basis as we help conserve our species for the benefit of all".

The KNP have arranged counselling for the family and will help with the funeral.

"Immediately upon hearing of the incident, the Section and Regional Ranger went to search for the animal. May the young toddler's soul rest in eternal peace", Mketeni said.

Their jaws and claws can take down and kill an animal up to three times its own size.

He said such incidents were rare but "always tragic" when they occurred.



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