SOUTH AFRICA: Lions Eat Three Rhino Poachers

The Telegraph reports:

At least three suspected poachers who were apparently hunting for rhinos have been mauled to death and eaten by lions on a game reserve in South Africa, the owner said on Thursday. The men entered the Sibuya Game Reserve on the southeast coast armed with a high-powered rifle and an axe in the early hours of Monday and were found dismembered the following day.

“They strayed into a pride of lions – it’s a big pride so they didn’t have too much time,” reserve owner Nick Fox, 60, told AFP news agency. “We’re not sure how many there were – there’s not much left of them. There seems to be clothing for three people. I’ve not heard of it before in our area.” Police forensics officers were on the scene conducting tests on the remains of the victims, Mr Fox added.

The BBC reports

The remains were first spotted at 16:30 local time on Tuesday (14:30 GMT). An anti-poaching team arrived on the scene, where a hunting rifle with silencer, a long axe and wire-cutters – equipment generally used by rhino poachers – were also found.

Several lions had to be tranquilised before the remains could be recovered, Mr Fox added. Police have been patrolling the area in case any of the suspected poachers survived. Nine rhinos were killed by poachers in Eastern Cape province, where the reserve is located, this year alone. More than 7,000 have been killed in South Africa in the past decade.