Officials at the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa say at least three people suspected to be rhino poachers entered their property, and an unknown number are dead after they were mauled and eaten by a pride of lions earlier this week.
“One of our anti-poaching dogs alerted her handler at about 4:30 a.m. Monday morning that something was amiss,” said reserve owner Nick Fox in a statement. “At the same time the handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions so he suspected that this was what had alerted her and was not concerned. It is not unusual to hear them at night.”
By late afternoon on Tuesday, it became all too clear what troubled the lions: A reserve field guide notified Sibuya’s anti-poaching unit after finding what appeared to be human remains strewn amid other gear.
“They were armed with, amongst other things, a high powered rifle with a silencer, an axe, wire cutters and had food supplies for a number of days – all the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns,” Fox said.
The investigation was turned over to the police and the Association of Eastern Cape Game Reserves anti-poaching authorities.
“Clearly, the poachers had walked into a pride of six lions and some, if not all had been killed,” Fox said. “At this stage it is not clear exactly how many poachers were killed but the police forensic team continue to investigate.”
Image: Sibuya Game Reserve