Lions eat rhino poachers on South African game reserve

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"Lions were right there-metres away from us-at the time".

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.

PHOTO: Sibuya Game Reserve is seen here in this undated file photo.

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.

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".

However, Fox said, after an initial investigation, it appeared the dog had been alerted by something else that was out of the ordinary coming from the pride of lions inside the park. "Clearly, the poachers had walked into a pride of six lions and some, if not all had been killed", according to a Facebook post by Fox. "We lost three rhino in March 2016".

According to Sibuya Game Reserve's owner Nick Fox, a group of at least three poachers entered their property overnight on July 2.

"The best estimate we have so far is that three of the gang were eaten".

"The axe that was found on the scene is what is used to by these poachers to hack off the horn after they kill the animal", he added.

"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.

In February a poacher was killed by lions in the Umbabat Game Reserve near the Kruger National Park, and his family were forced to identify him using all that was left - his head.

Three rhinos were killed in nearby Port Alfred in May 2018, raising the total of illegal rhino killings in the province to nine for the year.

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