Lions fatally maul poachers who broke into reserve to hunt rhinos

More than one alleged poacher thought to be killed by lions

Rangers found human remains Tuesday at Sibuya Game Reserve, and police returned the following morning to look for poachers, reported the Sunday Times. "They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn".

A May 2018 "60 Minutes" report revealed that they are being slaughtered at the shocking rate of three a day at the hands of poachers like the group killed in Sibuya. 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. After immediately alerting the police, the staffers made a decision to continue their investigation the next morning as it was getting dark. "There is so little left that they don't know exactly how many people were killed, we suspect three because we found three sets of shoes and three sets of gloves".

"Investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains, which were taken by the Department of Health to conduct forensic testing. However, it now appears likely that the dog had been alerted by something else out of the ordinary coming from the lions", Fox wrote.

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

Although Fox admits that the incident was sad, he also noted that it should send a "message" to other poachers who risk their lives to hunt game in his reserve.

The reserve is one of the most popular game serves in the Eastern Cape and is home to Africa's big five - elephants, buffalos and leopards as well as rhinos and lions.

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In 2016 the reserve lost three rhinos when poachers got into the park and shot them dead for their ivory horns.

Fox said security was increased at the 25 square kilometer reserve in Kenton on Sea and installed more cameras to monitor the rhinos.

This year alone, nine rhinos - all shot with a high-calibre hunting rifle - were killed by poachers on Eastern Cape reserves.Last week, Bella, a rhino at the Kragga Kamma Game Park, was killed just a week after she was dehorned.

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