Lions maul alleged rhino poachers to death

PHOTO: Sibuya Game Reserve is seen here in this undated file photo.

An anti-poaching team arrived on the scene, where a hunting rifle with silencer, a long axe and wire-cutters - equipment generally used by rhino poachers - were also found.

A helicopter was called in to search for more possible poachers, but none have so far been found.

According to Sibuya Game Reserve's owner Nick Fox, a group of at least three poachers entered their property overnight on July 2.

"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". Instead of rhinos, the poachers met a pride of lions.

At this stage in the investigation, it is not known how many poachers were killed in the incident.


Three poachers broke into a South African game preserve, apparently planning to slaughter rhinoceros in order to harvest their horns.

However, this time the hunters became the hunted, when they got in the way of the resident lion pride. Fox said the lions' behavior appeared no different than ever and that the lions "view a game-viewing vehicle containing people as something entirely different from individuals who are walking on the ground". "All the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns".

"Investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains, which were taken by the Department of Health to conduct forensic testing", South African Police Service Captain Mali Govender said in a statement.

Fox said he alerted the Indalo Anti-Poaching Cluster and the local police, which are now combing the area for clues.

Nine rhinos were killed by poachers in Eastern Cape province, where the reserve is located, this year alone.

A trained guard on the reserve, who was equipped with a dog that is specially trained to detect poachers, was alerted to commotion coming from the lions about 4:30 in the morning on Monday.

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