Sylvester the Karoo lion recaptured

SanParks says Sylvester was darted from a helicopter some 20km away from the park.

The lion that escaped from the Karoo National Park has been recaptured by SanParks. Picture: SanParks.

CAPE TOWN - The lion that had escaped from the Karoo National Park has been recaptured.

SanParks say the lion, named Sylvester by locals, covered some 300km and ate more than two dozen sheep during his walkabout.

Sylvester gave trackers the run-around for nearly a month, but on Monday afternoon the three-year-old animal was spotted heading back towards the Karoo National Park.

SanParks spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli said, "When it was spotted the helicopter was phoned. The lion was darted and it has now been released into a boma within the Karoo National Park."

The lion is now back in captivity. Picture: SanParks.

Thakhuli said the lion was spotted some 20km away from the park.

"About a week ago it had covered about 150km and it was actually going towards the Northern Cape boundary, but we're quite excited that it made its way back towards the Western Cape."

SanParks said the mountainous terrain of the Karoo had made it tricky to capture the lion.

Thakhuli said Sylvester would not be taken back to the pride it came from at the park as it was bullied out by another two males.

It took a helicopter, five vehicles and 20 people to track down the animal, and recently 15 professional trackers with six sniffer dogs were added to the search teams.

Picture: SanParks.