Poachers eaten by lions on South Africa game reserve

Rangers discovered human remains believed to belong to at least three poachers suspected of breaking into the Sibuya Game Reserve only to be mauled to death by a pride of lions

Human remains were discovered close to a pride of lions by a ranger who was touring the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday afternoon with guests from the lodge.

"We suspect two were killed, possibly three", Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.

Poachers were believed to have accessed the reserve Sunday night or early Monday morning.

A police spokesperson confirmed the deaths and said the items that were left behind would be taken to a laboratory to confirm if the group were poachers. In recent years, poachers have moved from Kruger National Park, Africa's biggest wildlife conservancy, to parks they perceive as easier targets, like Sibuya, according to Ellis.

"The lions are our watchers and guardians and they poached the wrong pride and became a meal", Fox told the Sandton Chronicle.

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Nick added: 'The lions may have eaten more of them it is hard to tell as the area is very thick with bush and you can not be sure what they have taken off to feed on elsewhere. Before the remains could be recovered, six of the lions had to be tranquilized, according to Fox.

Several lions had to be tranquilised before the remains could be recovered, Mr Fox added.

"We're nearly 100% sure this is connected to rhino poaching", reserve owner Nick Fox said. "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", Fox said. Not only were they armed with a powerful rifle with a silencer, but were also carrying gloves, wire cutters and a book bag full of food supplies.

The gang were attempting to slaughter a herd rhinos for their horns but came off second best at the Sibuya Game Reserve near Kenton-on-Sea, South Africa. It is a growing problem: Over 7,000 rhinoceros have been killed in the last decade, after reaching a low of just 13 poached in 2007. All that remained of the poacher was his head.

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

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