Lions maul to death suspected rhino poachers on South African game reserve
09 July, 2018, 00:07
At this point in the investigation, it's unclear how many poachers were killed by the lions.
"Although we will continue to be extremely vigilant we remain positive that this incident will not necessitate any changes to the status quo", he said.
Generally, Fox said, this specific group of lions does not react to a game vehicle containing people the same way it views individuals who are walking on the ground without a vehicle.
Poaching, Fox said, is "becoming more and more common in the area" because rhino horns are coveted and believed to be "more valuable than gold". In addition, officials found food, water, and wire cutters.
The reserve's statement said it is clear the poachers had walked into a pride of six lions and that some of the poachers, if not all, were killed.
"We're not sure how many there were - there's not much left of them", stated Nick Fox, owner of the reserve.
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.
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His reserve lost three rhinos in March 2016, when poachers hacked off their horns.
However, this time the hunters became the hunted, when they got in the way of the resident lion pride.
"However, it now appears likely that the dog had been alerted by something else out of the ordinary coming from the lions", Fox said.
"The best estimate we have so far is that three of the gang were eaten". "They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn".
Police have been patrolling the area in case any of the suspected poachers survived.
Lions have mauled to death suspected poachers who entered a South African wildlife reserve to kill rhinos. According to The South African, there have already been nine rhinos killed this year in the Eastern Cape alone, and investigators have reason to believe that there are two groups of poachers responsible for the killings.