Dying lion rescued from poacher's snare after tourists post pictures of it on Facebook

The lion was photographed lying in the road in Kruger National Park in South Africa

A lion has been saved from death at the hands of poachers after a photo of the dying animal trapped in a snare was shared on Facebook.

Tourists spotted the wounded beast lying in the road with a bloodied neck from the trap inside Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa on Monday. 

They alerted the authorities and posted the images of the young male on Facebook. 

The pictures were quickly shared on all groups associated with KNP and users began to criticise the perceived slowness of the park rangers’ response. 

One said: “I would like to see what SANPark’s reply on this is ... if they are going to reply at all. They are just getting money from visitors and donors, but do not care about the animals.

Rangers found the lion on Tuesday morning and after removing it from the snare a vet said the wounds were not as severe as had previously been thought. 

The animal - pictured shortly after it was rescued - was gravely injured by the poacher's snare

In a statement on Facebook, a spokesman for the park Lesley Nyawo said: “The snared lion is relieved of the snare, the wound has been treated.

“The lion has been released into the area where it was darted. Upon assessment of the wound by the vets, it appeared not to be as bad as anticipated and displayed by images.”

He thanked social media users for their help in finding the lion and said it was recovering well.