Tourists on safari in South Africa were left shocked after they came across a lion dying in the middle of the road.
Percy, as he has been named, was discovered in Kruger National Park by Meliska Vijoen and Meike Pettit with a snare around his neck, which had caused a very painful open wound.
With the lion facing a battle against the clock in order to survive, the tourists took to Facebook to alert park rangers of his dire situation.
— Lowveld Media (@LowveldMedia) January 5, 2016
According to the Daily Mail, in her post Meliska described Percy as ‘clearly asking for help’, before also claiming officials were slow to arrive.
Shortly after posting a wave of other social media users commented urging officials to take urgent action, with many criticising the park for failing to protect its animals.
The Telegraph reported one user’s scathing comment, suggesting the welfare of the park’s attractions was coming second to commercial interests.
The post read:
I would like to see what SANPark’s reply on this is … if they are going to reply at all. They are just getting money from visitors and donors, but do not care about the animals.
But after a few hours of searching Percy was located and a vet set to work on cleaning his horrific wound.
Kruger National Park released the following statement on the matter:
Upon assessment of the wounds by the vets, it appeared not to be as bad as anticipated and displayed by the images.
On behalf of KNP 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.
Volunteer groups have also been quick to point out the work they do to prevents these types of incidents occurring.
Thankfully this case didn’t end in tragedy, but had Percy not stumbled into the road the outcome could have been very different.