A group of rhino poachers were reportedly eaten by lions after allegedly breaking into a South African animal reserve, according to the facility.
On Thursday, Nick Fox — owner of the Sibuya Game Reserve — told BuzzFeed News that a staff member spotted human remains near a pride of six lions on Tuesday.
After a police forensic unit and the reserve’s anti-poaching unit conducted an investigation, Fox said they found “the axe, various pieces of clothing, [and] shoes” and that “everything was very spread out.”
Although it is unclear how many poachers were eaten, the crew believes there were at least 3 victims given the amount of shoes and gloves found.
The alleged poachers allegedly brought a high-powered rifle with a silencer, wire cutters, an axe for cutting out the rhino horns, and food to last for several days.
According to The Herald, a police spokesperson says authorities will examine the human remains recovered on the scene. Additionally, the rifle will be tested by a ballistics lab to see if it has been used in other crimes.
Fox says rhino poaching has become “a massive problem” because the “rhino horn has now become more valuable than gold per gram.”
In 2017, more than 1,000 rhinos were killed in South Africa, according to National Geographic. There are approximately less than 30,000 rhinos in the world, and South Africa is home to more than 80% of the remaining population.
Overall, Fox is grateful for both his rhinos and his lions.
“I just thank my lions… They saved our rhinos from another onslaught.”
[Image via WENN.]