Three poachers who broke into Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa are believed to have been eaten by lions.
The poachers are said to have broken into the reserve in a hunt for rhinos when they met their end at the hands of a pride of lions.
One head and a number of bloodied body parts and limbs have been recovered from the area, along with three pairs of empty shoes.
Owner Nick Fox, 60, said: ‘We found enough body parts and three pairs of empty shoes which suggest to us that the lions ate at least three of them but it is thick bush and there could be more.
‘They came heavily armed with hunting rifles and axes which we have recovered and enough food to last them for several days so we suspect they were after all of our rhinos here.
‘But the lions are our watchers and guardians and they picked the wrong pride and became a meal.
‘Whilst we are saddened at any loss of life the poachers came here to kill our animals and this sends out a very clear message to any other poachers that you will not always be the winner’.
‘The lions may have eaten more of them it is difficult to tell as the area is very thick with bush and you cannot be sure what they have taken off to feed on elsewhere.
‘The best estimate we have so far is that three of the gang were eaten.
‘They were armed with high powered rifles with silencers, an axe for the horns, wire cutters and side arms, so were clearly intent on killing rhinos and cutting off their horns.’
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