Two suspected rhino poachers have been eaten by lions in South African reserve

6 July 2018

Two suspected rhino poachers have been eaten by lions in South African reserve

At least two suspected rhino poachers have been mauled to death and eaten by lions on a South African game reserve.

The remains of two bodies, possibly three, were found by officials in a lion enclosure in the Sibuya reserve, near the southeast town of Kenton-on-Sea.

An anti-poaching team that arrived on the scene also found a high-powered hunting rifle with a silencer, a long axe, and wire cutters.

“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.

“We’re not sure how many there were — there’s not much left of them.”

The remains were first spotted at 4:30pm (local time) on Tuesday, and it is believed the poachers entered the reserve late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Several lions had to be tranquilised in order to recover the remains, Mr Fox also said.

Poaching in Africa has been rising in recent years due to the demand of rhino horns in parts of Asia, where they are believed to have aphrodisiac qualities in countries such as China and Vietnam.

Nine rhinos have been killed in the Eastern Cape province in South Africa, where the reserve is located, in just this year alone.

A staggering 7,000 other rhinos have been killed in South Africa in the past decade.