Lions kill suspected rhino poachers on South African wildlife reserve

Science								Image Source A W Dimmick

They were "armed with, amongst other things, a high powered rifle with a silencer, an ax, wire cutters and had food supplies for a number of days", according to a press release.

"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".

A ranger taking guests at the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape on a safari drive on Tuesday afternoon discovered human remains close to a pride of lions. They also recovered three pairs of shoes, indicating that there were most likely three victims.

At this point in the investigation, it's unclear how many poachers were killed by the lions.

"At Sibuya Game Reserve, we only view game from specialised game-viewing vehicles and not on foot due to the extremely dense bush and this forest on the reserve", Fox said.

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Three rhinos were killed in nearby Port Alfred in May 2018, raising the total of illegal rhino killings in the province to nine for the year.

Police spokeswoman Captain Mali Govender confirmed that the remains had been found in the lion camp and that detectives were on the scene trying to work out how many were eaten.

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. At the same time, the handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions, which she then suspected was the reasoning behind why the dog got her attention to begin with.

This is not the first time lions have turned the tables on poachers. "They ate his body, almost all of it, and just left his head and some remains", Limpopo Province police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe told AFP.

The poachers are believed to have intruded into the lion's enclosure of the Sibuya Game Reserve, on Sunday night or early Monday morning hence, devoured by the lions.

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