Three poachers are eaten by lions at South African nature reserve

A pride of lions walking

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"There is so little left that they don't know exactly how many people were killed, we suspect three because we found three sets of shoes and three sets of gloves".

"But the lions are our watchers and guardians and they picked the wrong pride and became a meal".

Nature's justice: At least three poachers are believed to have been eaten by lions at the Sibuya Game Reserve.

"As it was already dark it was not possible to investigate the area until first light at which time we arranged for our vet to dart the entire pride of lions so that Police forensic teams assisted by our Anti-poaching unit could comb the immediate area for clues", Fox added.

At least two alleged poachers‚ maybe even three‚ were killed by a pride of lions on the Sibuya Game Reserve outside Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape this week.

"It's still business as usual, it doesn't change anything we do", he said.

Although Fox admits that the incident was sad, he also noted that it should send a "message" to other poachers who risk their lives to hunt game in his reserve.

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One day later, one of the reserve's rangers then stumbled upon the remains of the poachers. On Wednesday, Sibuya employees and police found the poachers' gear scattered through the thick bushes.

The Sibuya reserve is home to rhinos, lions, elephant, buffalo and leopards and is popular with British tourists. They were "armed with, amongst other things, a high powered rifle with a silencer, an ax, wire cutters and had food supplies for a number of days", according to a press release.

Nine rhinos were killed by poachers in Eastern Cape province, where the reserve is located, this year alone.

Police spokeswoman Captain Mali Govender confirmed that the remains had been found in the lion camp and that detectives were on the scene trying to work out how many were eaten.

Due to its prominence and collection of animals, the park has faced multiple break-ins by poachers in recent years.

In 2016, the reserve lost three rhinos when poachers got into the park and shot them dead and cut off their ivory horns.

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