Jean-Jacques Cornish

SanParks to put down lion that’s escaped for a second time

A lion that’s escaped from a national park in South Africa for a second time has will be put down once he is captured, says an official spokesman.

Helicopters have been deployed to help capture the big cat that has been fitted with a tracker collar since his first escape last year.

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South African National Parks spokesman Rey Thakhuli says three-year old Sylvester will not be taken back to the Karoo wildlife sanctuary when he’s captured.

Thakuli says the lion has now been identified as a problem animal and will be put down.

Sylvester escaped last year, believed to have been driven out by older lions.

He roamed around the area outside the park for three weeks living on 29 domestic animals and one kudu that he killed.

The search cost the parks board 50 000 euros

On Sunday he burrowed under the fence loosened by recent heavy rain.

It’s believed he is attracted by easy prey outside the park

He has already killed a cow.

The 14-man tracker team is scouring a  mountainous region 20 kilometers from the park.

They are picking up signals from Sylvester’s tracker collar.

The public has been warned not to approach him.

The last wild lion was killed in the region in 1842

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.