JOHANNESBURG: Four male lions escaped over the weekend from South Africa's famed Kruger National Park, officials said Monday, two months after five others slipped out.
Park management said in a statement that the majestic predators were believed to have sneaked out on Sunday night, and that they had been spotted in a nearby village.
They urged residents to "exercise extra caution" as the hunt for the animals was underway.
Kruger Park, which borders Zimbabwe and Mozambique, is home to about 1,500 lions, and nearly the size of Belgium. Animals sometimes slip past the barrier fences, especially during the dry winter season.
Two months ago, five other lions escaped from the park.
Four were re-captured in neighbouring farms and one is still on the loose.
Officials said animals usually sneaked out through dry river beds, or used holes dug out by other animals near the fences.
In 2016, a lion named Sylvester escaped twice within two months from another South African park.He was eventually re-caught and moved to a different reserve.