According to a 5 July press release from the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa, a group of poachers has met their enemies this past weekend. It seems they entered in the reserve to look for rhino horns. However, they encountered a pride of six lions, who were not so happy to have visitors.
Nick Fox is the owner of the reserve, stating that at least three poachers entered Sibuya Game Reserve in the night of 1 July to early hours of 2 July:
“They were armed with, amongst other things, a high powered rifle with a silencer, an axe, wire cutters and had food supplies for a number of days – all the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns.”
The weapons didn’t help poacher stay alive as they faced the lions. Fox added that one of the dogs heard the commotion:
“One of our anti-poaching dogs alerted her handler at about 4.30 am Monday morning that something was amiss. At the same time the handler heard a loud commotion coming from the lions so he suspected that this was what had alerted her and was not concerned. It is not unusual to hear them at night.”
“Our Watchers and Guardians”
Tuesday, on 3 June, Fox and his workers found human remains, shoes, and a skull inside the lions’ den. Everything was completely gone, said Fox. He added that they suspect there were three people killed because they found “three sets of shoes and three sets of gloves.”
Then, Fox called the police. They took the rifle to check if it was used in other poaching crimes. Forensics will be used to discover more information.
Back in 2016, poachers murdered three of the rhinos in the reserve to take their horns and sale them on the black market. This time, they had the lions watching their back, said Fox:
“The lions are our watchers and guardians and [the victims] 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.”
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere