Gang of poachers eaten by lions after breaking into game reserve

Gang of poachers eaten by lions after breaking into game reserve

Gang of poachers eaten by lions after breaking into game reserve

At least three suspected poachers who were apparently hunting for rhinos have been mauled to death and eaten by lions on a game reserve in South Africa, the owner said on Thursday.

Rangers discovered human remains around 4:30 p.m. local time on July 3 in the immediate vicinity of the lions' territory at the Sibuya Game Reserve in Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape, more than 24 hours after an anti-poaching dog alerted her handler that something was amiss.

"We suspect two were killed, possibly three", Sibuya's owner, Nick Fox, said.

An ax and three pairs of shoes and gloves were found later when police and an anti-poaching unit arrived.

The handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions but this is not uncommon, Mr Fox said. Fox, who said the reserve has had previous run ins with poachers, said that the supplies found are all the hallmarks of "a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns".

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

Rhinoceroses are valued for their horns, which are falsely thought to have medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties in some cultures and are also used to create works of art.

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In February a poacher hunting lions in the Umbabat Game Reserve near the Kruger National Park was killed by lions and was identified by his sister in law from all that remained his head.

The 30 square mile park is home to all of Africa's "Big Five" - rhinos, lions, elephants, buffalos, and leopards.

Sibuya is one of the most popular game reserves in the South African province of Eastern Cape.

"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 Capt. Mali Govender said in a statement.

"The firearm has been taken by police and will be sent to the ballistics laboratory to establish if it has been used in any other poaching or crimes".

Earlier this year lions killed and ate a poacher, leaving only his head and some remains.

"They were obviously poachers".

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