11 December 2009
I know that SANParks is usually fairly sensitive to the needs of the environment when they make changes to the national parks, but I really must protest about this latest idea of introducting lion to the Karoo National Park (early in 2010, in time for the 2010 World Cup).
The Karoo National Park is a wonderful, serene, peaceful park, which allows for superb star gazing, hiking and walks, and gentle
wildlife watching and birding.
Waking up very early in the morning, in one of the cottages, while an entire herd of springbok calmly graze all around you is an indescribable and priceless feeling.
Such memories enrich all who visit the Karoo National Park.
Introducing lion, a super predator, to the Karoo National Park may indeed attract some overseas visitors and another calibre of local visitor, but is it really necessary for all parks to have the big five represented?
Is it not enough that bat-eared foxes, caracal and the very occasional leopard may be spotted as a bonus to all the current offerings?
I think that the introduction of lion into the Karoo National Park is a huge mistake
This decision to introduce a super predator will detract from the Karoo National Park's greatest attraction, peace and serenity, something that even overseas visitors would enjoy.
It isn't all about the big five.
Introducing lion will mean locking and fencing off the visitor accommodation areas, for reasons of safety and security and immediately detract from the openness and vast landscape of the Karoo National Park. The feeling that you're really part of the park will vanish.
Has an environmental impact assessment been done on the introduction of lion? Has an assessment been done on the impact the park provides to many visitors who come time and again, simply to enjoy the natural beauty and spiritual upliftment it provides, and how this enjoyment will no longer be available?
Please, please, re-think this issue
I'm very disappointed with this decision and I am aware of several friends and colleagues that feel the same way.
I only heard of this decision earlier this week. Please advise soonest how one may appeal against this decision.