Not much was left of some poachers after a pride of lions got done with them.
Some are calling it karma. At least three poachers are believed to be dead after they walked right into a pride of lions as they trespassed on a South African Game Reserve.
According to the reserve’s press release, the attack happened overnight sometime on July 3 in the Sibuya Game Reserve. The reserve’s anti-poaching units got a clue something was amiss when the lions began making a lot of noise and one of the unit’s anti-poaching dogs began alerting her handler.
The anti-poaching unit didn’t immediately realize something was amiss because the lions often make noise. But then one of the reserve’s field guides alerted the poaching unit to human remains near the lions.
Later that morning on July 4, reserve owner Nick Fox was alerted and arrived on scene with the anti-poaching unit to find a backpack with food and supplies, wire cutters and gloves. They also found a high-powered rifle that had been outfitted with a silencer.
From the equipment found at the scene, officials at the reserve believe the rhino poachers were there to illegally gather rhino horns. The food supplies seemed to indicate they planned to be in the area for days.
“Clearly, the poachers had walked into a pride of at least six lions and some, if not all of them had been killed,” Fox said in the press release.
The reserve’s veterinary staff tranquilized the lions so a better search of the area could be done by the reserve and local authorities. The Daily Mail further reports authorities found a head and numerous other body parts scattered throughout the area. Authorities believe there were at least three poachers based on the three pairs of shoes found at the scene.
But Fox also told reporters it was a big pride and the brush could be hiding human remains of other rhino poachers that the lions may have scattered throughout the area.
In the wake of the incident, many people were concerned what would happen to the lions at the South African Reserve, especially if they developed a taste for humans from the incident. Fox addressed the issue in a second press release on Friday that stated he and his staff had been closely monitoring the behavior of the animals.
“The general consensus in the game industry is that lions view a game viewing vehicle containing people as something entirely different from individuals who are walking on the ground. At Sibuya Game Reserve we only view game from specialised game viewing vehicles and not on foot due to the extremely dense bush and thick forest on the Reserve.
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 behavioural differences and they have confirmed that to date there have been none,” the release reads.
The post also states there will be no changes to the status quo of the Sibuya lions as a result of the incident.
This isn’t the first time rhino poachers have brazenly broken into Sibuya. Three rhinos were poached in the game reserve in 2016. Poachers seem to be getting more bold in their attempts to procure rhino horn worldwide. In 2017 rhino poachers actually broke into a French zoo and shot a young white rhino for its horn.
One can only hope this latest lion attack will help to make any potential poachers think twice before acting out their crimes.