Lions killed in South Africa after escaping Kruger reserve
Three lions which had escaped from a world famous game reserve in South Africa have been killed.
A farmer living near Kruger National Park (KNP) shot dead one of the males when he found all three eating one of his cows, a parks spokeswoman said.
He wounded another and a third ran away, Janine Raftopoulos added.
A search party of rangers decided to put down the wounded lion and the one which had escaped the farmer, Ms Raftopoulos said.
South African National Parks says the unharmed lion was killed because tasting cattle meat would change its behaviour.
There were also concerns that having already escaped once, the lion would keep trying to leave the park.
"The decision is made by vets and rangers with years and years of experience", Ms Raftopoulos said.
Initial reports indicated that four lions had escaped on Sunday, but parks officials have since said that evidence suggests only three escaped.
KNP is one of the biggest game reserves in Africa, covering an area of 7,523 sq miles (19,485 sq km).
It is not yet clear how the lions escaped from the park, which is largely fenced off.
Officials say they were probably driven out by population pressures.
The latest escape comes after five lions broke out of the same park in May. Four of them were caught but the fifth is still unaccounted for.