Fair game? Lions eat poachers on S.Africa reserve

They were hunting rhinos

"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 Capt. Mali Govender said in a statement.

A number of body parts and shoes were found at the scene with vets tranquilising lhe lions at the Sibuya Game Reserve to recover items.

"They strayed into a pride of lions - it's a big pride so they didn't have too much time", Sibuya Game Reserve's owner, Nick Fox, told AFP Thursday. "Clearly, the poachers had walked into a pride of six lions and some, if not all had been killed", according to a Facebook post by Fox.

And in perhaps the most heartbreaking act of conservation, park rangers in some parts of Africa are preemptively removing rhinos' horns so that poachers won't be tempted to kill the animals for them.

Mr Fox said one of the reserve's anti-poaching dogs had alerted her handler that something was amiss.

It is suspected that at some point Sunday night or Monday morning, the poachers broke into the reserve with the intent to hunt and de-horn rhinos.

Officials were unable to determine how many were killed but said the remains belonged to at least two people and were uncertain whether a third was killed.

Upon the discovery, the Association of Anti-Poaching Cluster and police were alerted to search the area.

The game reserve is one of the most popular in the Eastern Cape, and it is visited by many British tourists.

The Eastern Cape are is a "hotbed for rhino poaching", The South African reports, with nine rhinos having already fallen victim to poachers this year.

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. They took the rifle to check if it was used in other poaching crimes. Rhinoceroses are valued for their horns, which are falsely thought to have medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties in some cultures and are also used to create works of art.

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