Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Lions eat rhino poachers on South African game reserve

Lions eat rhino poachers on South African game reserve

"Whilst we are saddened at any loss of life the poachers came here to kill our animals and this sends out a very clear message to any other poachers that you will not always be the victor".

Nick Fox, the owner of the Sibuya Game Reserve, said in a Facebook post that a field guide discovered human remains Tuesday afternoon in the reserve's lion enclosure.

Fox said the ax confirmed that they were rhino poachers, since they use an ax to remove the rhino's horn after shooting it.

Police are investigating the incident to find out exactly how many poachers were killed.

The game reserve is one of the most popular in the Eastern Cape, and it is visited by many British tourists.

Mr 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.

Nine rhinos were killed by poachers in Eastern Cape province, where the reserve is located, this year alone.

"Investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains, which were taken by the Department of Health to conduct forensic testing", South African Police Service Captain Mali Govender said in a statement.

The night guard heard a noise from the fenced area with six lions, but did not respond to this, since lions are often noisy night in the cage. "Investigation continues and at this stage we are unable to speculate as to how the remains ended up at the scene".

An anti-poaching dog alerted its handler around 4:30 a.m. Monday, but the handler brushed off concerns.

Fox says the handler of an anti-poaching dog heard a "loud commotion" coming from the lions early on Monday.

Several animal poachers became the prey themselves after being mauled to death by lions as they allegedly trespassed in South Africa's Sibuya Game Reserve, the reserve owner said.

"It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions".

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