Lions fatally maul suspected rhino poachers on South African game reserve

In 2016, poachers managed to access the park and kill two female rhinos - both mothers to young calves.

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

One hunter's head and various body parts were later recovered.

But the reserve's anti-poaching unit later noticed human remains near the lions Tuesday. Because night was approaching, police and anti-poaching officers had to wait until the next day to search the thick brush. He also said that it was found three pairs of shoes, and the lions had to inject a tranquilizer to pick up human remains.

"At Sibuya Game Reserve, we only view game from specialised game-viewing vehicles and not on foot due to the extremely dense bush and this forest on the reserve", Fox said.

Authorities are now investigating the incident, which is believed to have involved two or three alleged poachers who walked into a group of six lions, Fox said. They do not-rhino horns are similar to horse hooves-but folk beliefs attribute incredible powers to the ground horns.

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

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"They were thinking of spending time in the reserve looking for the rhinos", he said.

"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".

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

"Investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains, which were taken by the Department of Health to conduct forensic testing", South African Police Service Captain Mali Govender said in a statement.

An "anti-poaching dog" alerted her handler at about 4:30 a.m. Monday. At the same time he'd heard a commotion coming from the lions so he suspected that's what prompted a reaction from the dog.

Suspected poachers sneaked onto a South African game reserve to hunt rhinos, only to be mauled by lions.

"It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions".

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