Three poachers are eaten by lions at South African nature reserve

06 July, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Lion Sibuya Nature Reserve

A gang of poachers who broke into a South African game reserve to slaughter a herd of rhinos were attacked and eaten by a pride of hungry lions.

Three men were believed to have been eaten alive by the predators sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning after they entered the Sibuya Game Reserve in Kenton-on-Sea to hunt rhinos, Nick Fox, the park's owner, told Newsweek.

"Judging from the shoes and items found on the scene‚ I suspect it is about two or maybe three (alleged poachers) who were killed".

A head and other bloody body parts were recovered in the area on July 3, along with three pairs of empty shoes, according to the Daily Mail. The handler then heard a commotion from the lions but didn't investigate as there usually is around the early hours.

"We thought they must have been rhino poachers but the ax confirmed it", Fox said.

It was believed the victims were rhino poachers as an axe and rifle were amongst the remains - poachers "use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn", Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.

'But the lions are our watchers and guardians and they picked the wrong pride and became a meal.

The lions were tranquilized while a search for remains was conducted, according to CNN.

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Body parts of lions are also used in traditional medicine.

Fox said a field guide alerted the Anti-Poaching Unit that there appeared to be human remains and poaching weapons near the lions earlier this week.

Nine rhinos have been killed with high-caliber hunting rifles at Eastern Cape reserves so far this year.

The popular game reserve, which covers 30 square miles, is also home to the rest of Africa's big five - elephant, buffalo and leopard. He added that "they were clearly intent on killing rhinos and cutting off their horns".

In 2016, the reserve lost three rhinos when poachers got into the park and shot them dead and cut off their ivory horns.

Police have not identified the slain humans, and they're testing the rifle to determine whether they were poachers.

Fox said it was unclear exactly how many poachers may have been killed.

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