Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Lions kill suspected rhino poachers in South Africa

Lions kill suspected rhino poachers in South Africa

"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".

It is not yet clear how many suspected poachers were killed.

"I think we had a stroke of luck here that the lions got to them before they got to the rhinos", Fox told AFP. More than 1,000 rhinos were poached in 2017, according to figures from the environment ministry.

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

Rhinos are endangered. They are heavily poached because their horns are believed to have powerful medicinal applications.

"We are not sure how many - there is not much left of them."There are clothes for three people". Authorities believe the men entered the game reserve in the early hours of Monday; they were found dismembered the following day, the news agency reports.

Later that morning, at approximately 4:30 a.m., one of the parks anti-poaching dogs alerted its handler that something in the park didn't seem right.

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Fox says the handler of an anti-poaching dog heard a "loud commotion" coming from the lions early on Monday.

Investigators were unable to examine the scene for evidence Tuesday night and were forced to wait for daylight.

The six lions involved were darted (anesthetized) from a game viewing vehicle and their reaction to the vehicle at that time was closely monitored by myself, the veterinary staff as well as our conservation staff.

The tables were turned on a gang of poachers this week when they were eaten by a pride of lions after breaking into a South African game reserve, presumably in an effort to kill the park's rhinos.

Previous reports suggested that a lone poacher had been attacked, but further investigation of the awful scene suggested at least two people were devoured by the lions.

Several lions had been found poisoned the year before.

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