Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Gang of poachers eaten by lions after breaking into game reserve

Gang of poachers eaten by lions after breaking into game reserve

Owner Nick Fox, 60, said: 'We found enough body parts and three pairs of empty shoes which suggest to us that the lions ate at least three of them but it is thick bush and there could be more.

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

The intruders are thought to have entered the lion enclosure of the Sibuya Game Reserve, near the Eastern Cape town of Kenton-on-Sea, late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

The men broke in in the early hours of Monday and their remains were found the following day.

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

"There seems to be clothing for three people".

"It's still business as usual, it doesn't change anything we do", he said.

Three suspected poachers have been mauled to death by a pride of lions at a game reserve in the Eastern Cape.

Mr Fox said one of the reserve's anti-poaching dogs had alerted her handler that something was amiss. This is when authorities believed the incident occurred. "They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn". After immediately alerting the police, the staffers chose to continue their investigation the next morning as it was getting dark.

Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said that investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains which were taken by the department of health for forensic testing Wednesday morning.

Captain Govender said: "We do not know identities but firearms have been taken by the police and will be sent to the ballistics laboratory to see if they have been used in poaching before". None have been found at the time this article was published.

Nine rhinos have been killed by poachers in Eastern Cape province this year, according to South Africa's Times.

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

The Sibuya reserve is home to rhinos, lions, elephant, buffalo and leopards and is popular with British tourists.

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