Lions maul suspected poachers in South Africa

A lion in South Africa.
(Image credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Several rhinoceroses are still alive and at least three suspected poachers are dead after six lions mauled them as they entered the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa earlier this week.

Game reserve owner Nick Fox said that early Monday morning, an anti-poaching dog got the attention of its handler, letting them know "something was amiss." The handler heard something going on in the area where lions are kept, Fox said, but that's not unusual, and they didn't go investigate. On Tuesday, field guides discovered at least three sets of human remains near a high-powered rifle with a silencer, an ax, wire cutters, and enough food to last several days — "all the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns," Fox said.

Police are now investigating the deaths and trying to determine if more than three people were killed. In 2017, more than 1,000 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa, the government said. Poachers sell rhino horns to people who falsely believe they have special powers.

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