Poachers Mauled by Lion Pride After Trespassing on South African Game Reserve
OutdoorHub Reporters 07.09.18
At least three poachers have been mauled to death by a pride of lions after they trespassed on a South African Game Reserve.
According to the reserve’s press release, which was shared on Facebook, the attack is believed to have occurred overnight on July 2nd. The group of men were armed with a high powered rifle with a silencer, an ax, wire cutters and enough food supplies to last a number of days – all the makings of a gang intending on killing a rhino for its horn.
The reserve’s anti-poaching unit became aware something was going on when the lions started making an awful lot of racket early in the morning. This is pretty typical behavior for the lions, but one of the unit’s anti-poaching dogs alerting it’s handler suggested something else was afoot.
At around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday July 3rd, a field guide discovered what appeared to be human remains in close vicinity of the lions, and dialed the owner of the reserve immediately.
Nick Fox, (the owner) along with the Anti-Poaching Unit, arrived on scene to find all the poacher’s supplies scattered haphazardly about with the pride of lions lurking nearby. They alerted the Indalo (Association of Eastern Cape Game Reserves) Anti-Poaching Cluster and the Police to inform them of what happened.
“Clearly, the poachers had walked into a pride of at least six lions and some, if not all of them had been killed,” Fox said in the press release.
Once it was safe, a veterinarian working with the reserve tranquilized the lions so a forensics team could further assist the investigation. The Daily Mail reports local authorities found a head and other body parts strewn throughout the immediate area.
Here is the full press release:
Fox issued a second press release on the manner, further detailing what happened in the wake of the incident:
The Future of the Sibuya Lions
We have received many questions relating to the future of the six lions involved in the tragic incident surrounding the killing of suspected poachers.
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. Their behaviour appeared no different from that exhibited towards these vehicles over the last ten years.
The general consensus in the game industry is that lions view a game viewing vehicle containing people as something entirely different from individuals who are walking on the ground. At Sibuya Game Reserve we only view game from specialised game viewing vehicles and not on foot due to the extremely dense bush and thick forest on the Reserve.
Over the last few days game guides and anti-poaching staff have continued to drive game viewing vehicles in the vicinity of this pride to check for any behavioural differences and they have confirmed that to date there have been none.
Although we will continue to be extremely vigilant we remain positive that this incident will not necessitate any changes to the status quo of our lions.
Nick Fox – Sibuya Game Reserve Owner”