Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Lions fatally maul suspected rhino poachers on South African game reserve

Elijah Vega | 09 July, 2018, 00:06

There are six lions in the pride, which act as "watch-dogs" to help protect the resident rhinos from poachers.

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.

It's unclear how many people were killed on the reserve at this time.

According to its website, Sibuya Game Reserve is located on the Sunshine Coast of the Eastern Cape, approximately 130 kms from Port Elizabeth or East London. She wasn't concerned because it's not unusual to hear the lions overnight, so she brushed off the commotion.

Sibuya reserve owner Nick Fox said in a statement on the reserve's Facebook page that the suspected poachers entered the reserve late on Sunday night or early on Monday morning.

"I think we had a stroke of luck here that the lions got to them before they got to the rhinos", Fox told AFP.

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.

Japan executes sarin gas attack cult leader Shoko Asahara and six members
Asahara had been on death row for masterminding a deadly 1995 Tokyo subway gas attack and other crimes. Other members from bottom left to right, Yoshihiro Inoue, Tomomitsu Nimi, and Kiyohide Hayakawa.

They later learned the noise was likely the poachers being killed by lions.

Since the incident, police have been patrolling the area on the chance that any of the poachers survived.

However, Fox said, after an initial investigation, it appeared the dog had been alerted by something else that was out of the ordinary coming from the pride of lions inside the park.

Police are investigating the incident to find out exactly how many poachers were killed.

After alerting authorities, the reserve's vet tranquilised the lions so that police and anti-poaching units could retrieve the human remains and search for further clues.

After ensuring the lions were not a threat to tourists, Fox said there will not be any changes to "the status quo of our lions".

According to the South African reports, the Eastern Cape has become a "hotbed for Rhino poaching with nine Rhinos already taken by the poachers this year".

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