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Lions kill suspected rhino poachers in South Africa

09 July 2018

There are fears that they might have developed a taste for human flesh, having successfully hunted down and eaten the poachers.

After ensuring the lions were not a threat to tourists, Fox said there will not be any changes to "the status quo of our lions".

Generally, Fox said, this specific group of lions does not react to a game vehicle containing people the same way it views individuals who are walking on the ground without a vehicle. He also said that it was found three pairs of shoes, and the lions had to inject a tranquilizer to pick up human remains.

"I think we had a stroke of luck here that the lions got to them before they got to the rhinos", Fox told AFP.

A helicopter was called in to search for more possible poachers, but none have so far been found. In addition, officials found food, water, and wire cutters.

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

More than 7,000 have been killed in South Africa in the past decade.

As well as rhinos and lions, Sibuya's 30 square miles is also is home to the rest of Africa's Big Five: elephant, buffalo and leopard.

His reserve lost three rhinos in March 2016, when poachers hacked off their horns.

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.

"However, it now appears likely that the dog had been alerted by something else out of the ordinary coming from the lions", Fox said.

"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. More than 1,000 rhinos were poached in 2017, according to figures from the environment ministry.

Lions have mauled to death suspected poachers who entered a South African wildlife reserve to kill rhinos.

Lions kill suspected rhino poachers in South Africa