Rhino Poachers Break Into Wildlife Reserve, Eaten By Lions

July 10th, 2018

Humans so often take advantage of nature and animals. But nature decided to fight back on a wildlife reserve when poachers broke into the park earlier last week.

They were eaten by a pack of lions while trying to poach rhinos.

Sibuya Game Reserve Owner Nick Fox said that his staff came across human remains on site which was located near a pride of six lions. The lions had to be tranquilized with dart guns so that police and anti-poaching units could collect forensic evidence and investigate.

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National Geographic Source: National Geographic

“That’s when they found the ax, various pieces of clothing, shoes,” Fox told BuzzFeed. “Everything was very spread out.”

Wire cutters, and a high-powered rifle with a silencer were also found on site.

Fox says that these are “all the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns.”

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Sibuya Game Reserve Source: Sibuya Game Reserve

“They strayed into a pride of lions. It’s a big pride so they didn’t have too much time,” Fox told the AFP news agency. “We’re not sure how many there were. There’s not much left of them.”

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Sibuya Game Reserve Source: Sibuya Game Reserve

They are assuming that there were at least three people who were eaten since there were three pairs of shoes and gloves found.

It is believed that the suspected poachers entered the reserve on Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Their remains were found on Tuesday. Police have been patrolling the area to see if any of the poachers survived. Poaching is a huge problem in the area.

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Sibuya Game Reserve Source: Sibuya Game Reserve

About nine rhinos were killed by poachers in the Eastern Cape province where the reserve is located in 2018 alone.

There have been more than 7,000 killed in South Africa in the last 10 years.

This is due to the rising demand for rhino horns in parts of Asia. In places like China and Vietnam, they believe that rhino horn has medicinal properties despite the fact that it is made from the same material as human fingernails.

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Andrew Coleman Source: Andrew Coleman

“It’s a massive problem. Rhino horn has now become more valuable than gold per gram,” Fox said.

The Sibuya Game Reserve has been targeted by poachers before.

Three of the park’s rhinos were killed for their horns in 2016. Fox said that it was a terrible loss to the park as one of the rhinos had been hand-reared by their staff.

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Sibuya Game Reserve Source: Sibuya Game Reserve

“I just thank my lions,” Fox said. “They saved our rhinos from another onslaught.”

The lions, he said, are doing just fine.

“Over the last few days game guides and anti-poaching staff have continued to drive game viewing vehicles in the vicinity of this pride to check for any behavioral differences and they have confirmed that to date there have been none,” he said on Facebook. “Although we will continue to be extremely vigilant we remain positive that this incident will not necessitate any changes to the status quo of our lions.”

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Source: BBC