This is a macabre feel-good story for those who sympathize with the plight of the world’s rhinos. A group of poachers trespassed onto a South African game reserve. They were there to kill rhinos. The poachers became the poached, though, when the men ran up against a pride of lions. Three men were killed and eaten.
“At least three hunters are believed to have been devoured by the predators, judging by the bloody scene on the Sibuya Game Reserve near Kenton-on-Sea in Eastern Province, South Africa,” The Daily Mail writes about the ironic turn of events.
“One head and a number of bloodied body parts and limbs have been recovered from the area, along with three pairs of empty shoes.”
There were other indications of the poachers intentions. The body parts were located near high powered rifles, silencers, wire cutters and the type of axe typically used to remove rhino horns from dead rhinos.
A search of the scene is being conducted by helicopter, but no other poachers have been located.
Sibuya Game Reserve’s owner, Nick Fox, explained the find. “We found enough body parts and three pairs of empty shoes which suggest to us that the lions ate at least three of them but it is thick bush and there could be more.”
“They came heavily armed with hunting rifles and axes which we have recovered and enough food to last them for several days so we suspect they were after all of our rhinos here.”
“But the lions are our watchers and guardians and they picked the wrong pride and became a meal.”
“Whilst we are saddened at any loss of life the poachers came here to kill our animals and this sends out a very clear message to any other poachers that you will not always be the winner.”
“The lions may have eaten more of them it is difficult to tell as the area is very thick with bush and you cannot be sure what they have taken off to feed on elsewhere.”
“The best estimate we have so far is that three of the gang were eaten.”
“They were armed with high powered rifles with silencers, an axe for the horns, wire cutters and side arms, so were clearly intent on killing rhinos and cutting off their horns.”
While no other poachers have turned up, the search isn’t over. Authorities are now using forensic analysis to determine if the guns found at the scene have links to other poachers or other poaching.