Lions Eat Suspected Rhino Poachers on South African Game Reserve

A pride of lions at a game reserve in South Africa may have eaten at least two suspected rhino poachers. The human remains were discovered near the felines on Tuesday afternoon, July 2.

A ranger for the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape spotted what looked like human remains close to the bedding grounds of a pride of lions, but had to wait for confirmation the next day. The ranger was taking guests on a safari drive at the time.

"We suspect two were killed, possibly three," Sibuya owner Nick Fox said, after a later inspection of the remains with the authorities. The police and an anti-poaching unit were called in to investigate, and they found an axe, and three pairs of shoes and gloves — the little that remained of two or three suspected poachers, according to NBC News.

They also found a high powered rifle, some wire cutters, and supplies in a destroyed backpack, as Fox posted in a press release on the game reserve's Facebook page.

"We thought they must have been rhino poachers but the ax confirmed it," Fox said. "They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the ax to remove the horn," the reserve owner explained. The lions were reportedly making a ruckus on the early hours of Monday, July 1.

The investigators and the reserve owner agree that the poachers, likely prowling the area in the early hours of Monday morning, inadvertently walked into a pride of six lions. It's likely the same commotion that had been noticed by one of the anti-poaching dogs at around 4:30 a.m. on Monday morning, local time.

"At this stage it is not clear exactly how many poachers were killed but the Police forensic team continue to investigate," Fox ended his report.

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