Human remains found in a South African game reserve are believed to be those of a gang of rhino poachers who ran into a pack of lions.
The intruders are thought to have entered the lion enclosure of the Sibuya Game Reserve, near the Eastern Cape town of Kenton-on-Sea, late on Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Reserve owner Nick Fox told RNews that one of the reserve’s specially trained anti-poaching dogs first raised the alert that something was amiss in the early hours of Monday morning, but the bodies were not discovered until the following day.
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"At about 4.30pm on Tuesday, one of our field guides on game drive alerted the Anti-Poaching Unit that there appeared to be human remains as well as other items in the immediate vicinity of the lions,” he said.
These items included “all the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns”, Fox said, including a “high-powered rifle, gloves, wire cutters and the remains of a backpack”.
“The axe that was found on the scene is what is used to by these poachers to hack off the horn after they kill the animal,” he added.
Initial reports suggested that a lone poacher had been attacked, but further investigation of the grisly scene suggested at least two people were devoured by the pride.
“Judging from the shoes and items found on the scene‚ I suspect it is about two or maybe three,” Fox told DispatchLive.
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.
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