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Sylvester the lion to be put down once captured

The animal managed to escape from the Karoo National Park once again on Monday.

A massive search has been underway for Sylvester the lion that escaped from the Karoo National Park. Picture: SanParks.

CAPE TOWN - Sylvester the lion is still on the run and will be put down once he's captured.

Last night, SANParks tweeted that it had taken the decision based on a number of factors:

#UpdateOnSylvester: 1. Strong winds and tough terrain meant rangers weren't able to catch up to Sylvester today. Cont...

#UpdateOnSylvester: 2. The helicopter called in to assist from PE needed to return&staff will go out again first thing tomorrow morning...

#UpdateOnSylvester: 3. in search for him. The decision taken earlier today to put him down was not taken lightly by SANParks management.

#UpdateOnSylvester: 4. A number of factors were taken into consideration, the overriding one being the threat he poses to human life.

The animal managed to escape from the Karoo National Park yet again on Monday for a second time in under a year.

Sylvester was on the loose for three weeks last year.

The big cat probably broke out by crawling under an electric fence after heavy rains dislodged earth over the weekend, SANParks' Fairuz Ludick said.

"We realised early yesterday morning when they checked all the satellite tracking collars that he had escaped. We are awaiting a helicopter to begin an aerial search."

Ludick said they have a team who are trying to track the animal.

"We've got a veterinarian on board, and should they get an opportunity to dart Sylvester, they will do so and bring him back to the park."

The likelihood of him encountering a human being is slim but Ludick urged people not to approach Sylvester should they see him.

"It's the very same lion that escaped last year. I think we should change his name to Houdini."

Last June, the animal went on a sheep killing spree, wandering 300 kms before he was found taking a nap by rangers and airlifted from the Nuweveld Mountains, 1,750 metres above sea level.

"We anticipate this operation will be a lot quicker because he is wearing a tracking collar."

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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