At least three suspected poachers were eaten by a pride of lions on a game reserve in South Africa, owner of the lodge said on Thursday (5/7/18).
According to 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 lions.
“We suspect two were killed, possibly three,” Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.
The suspected poachers were apparently hunting for rhinos.
“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.
“They came heavily armed with hunting rifles and axes which we have recovered and enough food to last them for several days so we suspect they were after all of our rhinos here.
“But the lions are our watchers and guardians and they picked the wrong pride and became a meal,” Mr Fox told the Independent.
Fox noted that on Monday morning, the reserve’s anti-poaching dogs began to act agitated, but when a handler heard a loud commotion coming from a nearby pride of lions. It was not until Tuesday afternoon that park officials found human remains near the lion pride that had been making noise the day prior.
“At about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday 3rd July one of our field guides on game drive alerted the Anti-Poaching Unit that there appeared to be human remains as well as other items in the immediate vicinity of the lions. I was immediately called to the scene where along with the APU we found the high powered rifle, gloves, wire cutters and the remains of a back pack with food, water and other supplies,” Fox said in a statement.
Across South Africa, 502 alleged rhino poachers and 16 alleged traffickers were arrested in 2017, according to the government’s press release.
Official 2017 numbers for rhino poaching incidents in other countries have not yet been released, but there appears to have been a drop in killings in both Zimbabwe and Namibia.