In February 2013, two male lions from The Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park were released into the Karoo National Park. The number of lions in the park now total nine. The Karoo National Park is situated outside Beaufort West in the Western Cape.
The lions, who are named Niklaas and Witwarm, were introduced into the eastern section of the park, where they will hopefully develop their own territories. They had been homed in a temporary enclosure in the park since their arrival from the Kgalagadi in November last year, allowing them to adapt to their new environment.
In 2010, a small population of lions were introduced into the Karoo National Park from Addo Elephant National Park. The decision was made to introduce the two 3 year-old male lions into the Karoo to prevent inbreeding as a result of an island effect (no migration of other lions into or out of the population), and to increase genetic diversity in the Karoo National Park.
The introduction of predators into the park is part of an attempt to restore and re-establish the process of predation. It helps to control herbivore numbers naturally and decrease the need for capturing and culling.
Kgalagadi lions are known for their impressive dark brown or black manes, and the introduction of Niklaas and Witwarm can only add to the Eco-tourism value of the Karoo National Park.