Science

Suspected rhino poachers killed by lions at South African reserve

Suspected rhino poachers killed by lions at South African reserve”

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.

In addition to the poaching equipment, staff at the Sibuya Game Reserve discovered a number of dismembered body parts, including one head and three pairs of empty shoes.

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

A helicopter searched the rest of the 30-square-mile reserve, but found no other poachers.

According to a press release made by Sibuya Game Reserve owner Nick Fox on Facebook Thursday, the suspected poachers entered the reserve sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

In 2016, the reserve saw three of its rhinos shot dead by poachers who broke into the reserve to cut off their horns. The men were hunting for rhinos, hoping to take their horns and sell the ivory, but were attacked by a pride of lions.

He was uncertain how many people were killed, but said three sets of shoes and gloves were found.

Over 7,000 rhinos have been killed and their tusks poached in the last decade, with nine killed just this year.

Predator turned into prey when a group of poachers became a meal for a pride of lions, the owner of a game reserve says.

Several high powered hunting rifles fitted with silencers, as well as wire cutters and an axe were found nearby.

While Fox said they were sad the poachers were killed, "This sends out a very clear message to any other poachers that you will not always be the victor".

Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said: "A riffle and an axe were found at the scene".

"At this stage it is not clear exactly how many poachers were killed but the Police forensic team continue to investigate".

"The anti-poaching unit never suspected anything wrong because it was the lions making noise and not the rhinos", Fox said. Officials had to tranquilize six lions so they could obtain the remains and items on the scene, police told BBC.



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