Poaching has definite risks. Most poachers go to great lengths to avoid authorities intent on curtailing the illegal killing of wildlife. Sometimes, though, the wildlife can take care of poachers on their own, as this bit of news details. One would-be poacher became the prey after stumbling into a whole pride of lions.
The incident ocurred on a big game reserve in South Africa. Witnesses at the Ingwelala Private Nature Reserve in Hoedspruit, South Africa said they heard the man calling for help. Briefly. The lions had killed him and eaten most of before the others were able to run them off.
They didn’t eat his head, though.
But the lions quickly killed their victim and devoured most of his body before being chased off, leaving his head untouched.
The Daily Mail ran the story with the above image, which they captioned: “Two lions at the private park that were not involved in the incident.”
It is unclear just how many lions were involved in the incident. When the police arrived, some at the reservation speculated that the man was a worker, and not a poacher. But the worker was found alive. When they found a rifle near where they found the man’s head, they knew he wasn’t there lawfully.
The man has yet to be identified. While they have his head, they have no documents.
“The process of identifying this body has already commenced and it might be made easier as his head was amongst the remains found at the scene,” Police Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.
“I cannot say if it was poachers as the matter is under investigation but that is their weapon of choice and they usually work in groups of three and work under cover of darkness. Two sets of footprints have been found running away and obviously the dead and eaten man.”
Ingwelala is a wild reserve. Though there are resort accommodations, and it isn’t unheard of to find a hippo in the pool, the lions and other big cats, along with hyenas and other predators, roam wild.
Guests take reasonable risks during daylight hours, but do not venture out at night, when the nocturnal animals hunt.