Lions kill suspected rhino poachers who sneaked onto South African reserve

Lions kill suspected rhino poachers who sneaked onto South African reserve

A group of poachers were bested by a pride of lions after they broke into a South African game reserve in a bid to stalk and slaughter a herd of rhinos.

It's understood the men entered the Sibuya Game Reserve in the early hours of Monday and were found dismembered the following day.

"We had a poaching around this exact same time two years ago", he said.

"The axe that was found on the scene is what is used to by these poachers to hack off the horn after they kill the animal", he added.

Poachers were believed to have accessed the reserve Sunday night or early Monday morning.

'They were armed with high powered rifles with silencers and an axe for the horns and wire cutters and side arms and they had enough food with them to last for many days.

"They strayed into a pride of lions - it's a big pride so they didn't have too much time", reserve owner Nick Fox told AFP News Agency.

The lions were tranquilized while a search for remains was conducted, according to CNN.

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The rhino poachers were found dead in the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape.

Reserve owner Nick Fox said they found enough body parts and three pairs of empty shoes likely belonging to the suspected poachers.

More than 1,000 rhinos were killed illegally in South Africa past year, a shocking rise since 2007, when only 13 were killed.

His plans to get Cecil's head mounted for his trophy room ended when one of Palmer's guides surrendered the lion's remains to officials in Africa.

Captain Mali Govender, a police spokesperson, revealed that detectives are investigating the incident to determine exactly how many people were eaten.

"The firearm has been taken by police and will be sent to the ballistics laboratory to establish if it has been used in any other poaching or crimes". In 2016, poachers successfully killed three of the reserve's rhinos and made off with their severed horns.

In February a poacher hunting lions in the Umbabat Game Reserve near the Kruger National Park was killed by lions and was identified by his sister in law from his head - the only part of his body left.

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