At least two rhino poachers eaten by lions in South Africa

Clark Diaz
July 6, 2018

At least three suspected poachers have been mauled to death and eaten by lions after breaking into a wildlife reserve in South Africa. Fox said it was impossible to know how many people were killed.

It has been reported that a head and other body parts were recovered from the area on Tuesday (July 3), along with three pairs of shoes.

"We're not sure how many there were there's not much left of them".

It was believed the victims were rhino poachers as an axe and rifle were amongst the remains - poachers "use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn", Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.

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The poachers were apparently on foot when they encountered the lions, which is very risky. "At this stage, it is not clear exactly how many poachers were killed but the Police forensic team continue to investigate".

Rhinoceros horn is a lucrative commodity on the black market, particularly in parts of Asia, where it is powdered and marketed to the rich as a cure-all medicine and legendary aphrodisiac.

The reserve is one of the most popular game serves in the Eastern Cape and is home to Africa's big five - elephants, buffalos and leopards as well as rhinos and lions.

Rangers discovered the remains of at least two poachers, who were believed to have snuck on to the protected area, in a lion enclosure on the Sibuya reserve.

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"However it now appears likely that the dog had been alerted by something else out of the ordinary coming from the lions", Fox said.

Nine rhinos were killed by illegal hunters in the Eastern Cape this year alone. In 2016, poachers successfully killed three of the reserve's rhinos and made off with their severed horns.

'They were armed with high powered rifles with silencers, an axe for the horns, wire cutters and side arms, so were clearly intent on killing rhinos and cutting off their horns'. It was getting too dark to search the area, so police came back the next day with the reserve's anti-poaching unit and other specialists.

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