Lions Eat Suspected Rhino Poachers On South African Game Reserve

Lions Eat Suspected Rhino Poachers On South African Game Reserve

Lions Eat Suspected Rhino Poachers On South African Game Reserve

Predator turned into prey when a group of poachers became a meal for a pride of lions, the owner of a game reserve says.

Authorities believe the men entered the game reserve in the early hours of Monday; they were found dismembered the following day, the news agency reports. Police have been patrolling the reserve via helicopter and have yet to find any other poachers.

Investigators found a human head, along with other body parts and limbs, along with three pairs of empty shoes, according to the Daily Mail. 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".

Then, on Tuesday afternoon, one of the field guides found what appeared to be human remains near the lions' range.

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At around 4.30 a.m. on Monday morning, one of Sibuya's anti-poaching dogs gave her handler a warning that something was wrong. During that time, the dog's handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions.

"I think we had a stroke of luck here that the lions got to them before they got to the rhinos", Fox told AFP.

The horns are prized for their medicinal value and used in traditional Chinese medicines, though there is no science to back up their touted "cure-all" powers.

"They [found] an ax and high-powered rifle with a silencer, which is a surefire sign of rhino poachers", Fox said.

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He added that it's unknown how many poachers there were, as "there's not much left of them", according to BBC.

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

The facility boasts 30 square miles of wildlife and contains Africa's big five game animals: lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalos and leopards.

In 2016 the reserve lost three rhinos when poachers got into the park and shot them dead for their ivory horns. South Africa is home to around 80 percent of the world's 29,000 rhinos, making the country a magnet for poachers.

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