Bloemfontein – A Free State farmer discovered an aggressive lion cub in a sheep pen after a worker called him to shoot a cat killing his sheep, the Volksblad newspaper reported on Monday.
Gerhard van Rhyn from the farm Mierdam, near Dealesville, was told a caracal was in the sheep pen.
At least one sheep had already been killed by the time farm worker Hendrik Modise arrived on the scene on Sunday.
Van Rhyn told the newspaper he woke his son, grabbed a shotgun and went to the pen. However, the caracal turned out to be an aggressive lion cub lying between the sheep next to one of its victims.
“It was a big surprise for us on a Sunday morning. It’s not every morning you awake to find a lion on the farm,” Van Rhyn was quoted as saying.
Van Rhyn said the cub apparently jumped into the pen during Saturday night, caught one of the sheep and after eating part of it fell asleep. It was not known where the cub came from. There are no lion breeders or lion farms in the district.
Van Rhyn suspected the cub had been stolen and left at the roadside by thieves who had to pass through a roadblock.
The cub was caught and handed to a Kimberley game farm owner.