Lions eat suspected rhino poachers on game reserve
© Sibuya Reserve

At least two suspected rhino poachers were mauled to death by a pride of lions on a South African game reserve, according to a report from the BBC.

Rangers discovered the remains of at least two poachers, who were believed to have snuck on to the protected area, in a lion enclosure on the Sibuya reserve.

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Nick Fox, the owner of the reserve, said rangers also found a “high powered rifle with a silencer, an ax, wire cutters and ... food supplies for a number of days,” in a press release shared on Facebook.

Fox said the supplies were “the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino[s] and removing their horns.”

He believed the suspected poachers entered the reserve sometime around late Sunday night.

"They strayed into a pride of lions — it's a big pride so they didn't have too much time," Fox told AFP news agency.

"We're not sure how many there were,” Fox continued. “There's not much left of them.”

Fox said an anti-poaching team arrived on the scene Tuesday and alerted local law enforcement to the remains. 

“Clearly, the poachers had walked into a pride of six lions and some, if not all had been killed,” Fox said.

“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.

Fox said it was unclear exactly how many poachers may have been killed.

“At this stage it is not clear exactly how many poachers were killed but the Police forensic team continue to investigate.”