Has the Fochville lion found a new place to roam?

Ms Lomile Tsolvane (middle) points to where she heard the roars over the weekend.

The possibility that the lion that scared the residents of the Fochville area might have moved closer to Carletonville surfaced this week.
According to Mr Frank Mogolane, a ward committee member at the Mohaleshoek informal housing area next to
the R501road between Carletonville and Fochville, another resident phoned him at around 09:30 last Saturday
morning with some unusual news.

‘He said he had seen a tiger cross the main road towards our side on the hill after Vaal Maseru,’ he told the Herald on Monday morning.
Mogolane phoned the police and the area’s ward councillor, Ms Annett Venter, and started asking if anyone else
had seen or heard anything unusual.
Several residents came forward, claiming that, towards the end of last week and over the past weekend, they had heard something roaring at night.
On Monday, the Herald and Mogolane went to the area where the roaring was heard, together with Ms Lomile Tsolvane, a resident who says she had heard them, and a friend. This area, situated just over the road between Carletonville and Fochville, is rocky with lots of trees and there are several kraals where residents keep cattle, goats and horses.
An old man, only known as ‘Ntate Radintonki’, was looking after the animals at the time of the visit. According
to him, he had not personally heard the roars but some of the other cattle owners told him they had.
‘We are very worried about this situation. Because there is not enough water in Mohaleshoek, many people walk
over the road into the veld to go and get some. A lot of them use a tree on the way to Vaal Maseru as a toilet. If
there is a wild animal around, as many people are claiming, this puts these people, especially, in great danger,’
Mogolane said.
On Tuesday, Mr James Lang of the South African Predators’ Association (Sapa), who had previously helped the
police to try and track down the lion or lions roaming in the Fochville area, said he has not been informed of the
latest claims. He said, however, that, since the last sighting last year, the lion that previously roamed Fochville had
not been seen again. Lang previously told the Herald that leopards are known to roam in the Gatsrant area.
He added though, that leopards do not roar like lions and that, as lions can easily move large distances per day, it
is not impossible that the lion that had previously roamed in the Fochville area had now moved.
‘These animals learn how to move around without coming into contact with humans. If anyone spots tracks in another area that can be proven to be those of a lion, we will gladly come and see whether we can help to track
it again,’ he told the Herald.
‘The ward councillor needs to submit the list of needs that have been identified by the community for the purposes of the integrated development Plan (IDP) and the sourcing of funds. That will include the request for the provision of water and sanitation.
‘The water is delivered weekly and the consumers are urged to use water sparingly,’ a spokesperson for the  municipality answered when asked what would be done to address water shortages in Mohaleshoek.

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