Monday, 16 July, 2018

Suspected rhino poachers killed by lions at South African reserve

Gang of poachers eaten by lions after breaking into game reserve Lions fatally maul poachers who broke into reserve to hunt rhinos
Theresa Hayes | 06 July, 2018, 04:12

At least three poachers are thought to have been killed when they were set upon by the pride at the safari park in South Africa.

The park's anti-poaching unit found what "appeared to be human remains" near the lions on Tuesday afternoon.

The remains were strewn over an area covered with thick brush and Fox said it was impossible to know how many people were killed.

"They strayed into a pride of lions - it's a big pride so they didn't have too much time", Mr Fox told AFP news agency.

In February a poacher hunting lions in the Umbabat Game Reserve near the Kruger National Park was killed by lions and was identified by his sister in law from all that remained his head.

Along with bones and bloodied body parts, staff found a hunting rifle, an axe, wire cutters and food supplies, according to The Herald Live.

"One of our anti-poaching dogs alerted her handler at about 4.30 am Monday morning that something was amiss", the post says.

A vet then had to tranquilise the six lions so police could go inside and recover the remains of the mauled poachers. Police have been patrolling the reserve via helicopter and have yet to find any other poachers.

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

As of Thursday, it is not clear exactly how many poachers were killed, according to Fox, but local police are still investigating.

"They were clearly intent on killing rhinos and cutting off their horns", he continued.

Though it is estimated there were three poachers, officials can not be certain just yet.

Mr Fox said it was not clear exactly how numerous men there were, as there was "not much left of them".

So far this year, more than nine rhinos have been killed in the Eastern Cape province, according to the BBC. Despite the fact that rhino horn's virility-boosting and medicinal effects are a myth, powdered horn sells for up to $100,000 per kilogram in Vietnam, worth more than its weight in gold.