Suspected rhinoceros poachers killed by pride of lions in South African game reserve

The handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions but was not concerned as it is common to hear the lions at night.
The handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions but was not concerned as it is common to hear the lions at night.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SIBUYA GAME RESERVE

A group of suspected rhinoceros poachers were killed by a pride of lions in South Africa's Sibuya Game Reserve on Monday morning (July 2).

According to a statement posted on the reserve's Facebook page on Thursday, an anti-poaching dog alerted its handler that something was amiss at about 4.30am on Monday.

The handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions but was not concerned as it is common to hear the lions at night.

At about 4.30pm on Tuesday evening, a field guide on duty spotted what appeared to be human remains and other items in the immediate vicinity of the lions.

Mr Nick Fox, the reserve's owner, was immediately called to the scene, where a high-powered rifle, gloves, wire cutters and the remains of a backpack with food, water and other supplies were found.

The Daily Mail reported that one head and a number of bloodied body parts and limbs have been recovered from the area, together with three pairs of empty shoes.

In the Facebook post, Mr Fox said that the group of at least three poachers entered the game reserve between Sunday and the early hours of Monday.

They were armed with a high-powered rifle with a silencer, an axe, wire cutters and food supplies for a few days. These were hallmarks of a group of rhinoceros poachers, said Mr Fox.

"Clearly, the poachers had walked into a pride of six lions and some, if not all, had been killed," he added.

A vet darted the entire pride of lions so that police forensic teams and the game reserve's Anti-Poaching Unit could comb the immediate area for clues.

Police forensics teams' investigations are ongoing, and the number of poachers killed cannot be confirmed, said the statement.