Lions eat alleged poachers who snuck into South African game reserve

PHOTO: Lion, Photo Date: undated Pixabay via MGN

WASHINGTON (Circa) -- Officials in South Africa say two or three alleged poachers were killed by lions at a South African game reserve.

It is believed that the poachers were mauled to death. BBC reports a high profiled rifle, a silencer, wirecutters and an axe were found at the scene. CNN also reports three pairs of boots and gloves were discovered.

"We're almost 100% sure this is connected to rhino poaching," Sibuya Game Reserve owner Nick Fox told CNN.

Six lions who were near the scene of the incident were tranquilized as the area was being searched and remains were being recovered.

Fox told AFP that the alleged poachers entered the reserve late at night on Sunday.

"They strayed into a pride of lions - it's a big pride so they didn't have too much time," Fox said. "We're not sure how many there were - there's not much left of them."

At least nine rhinos have been killed by poachers in the South African province this reserve is located in. Rhino horns have grown in demand in Asia which has caused an increase in rhino killings. The Atlantic reported in 2013 that a Vietnamese belief in rhino horns curing cancer has helped the worth of rhino horns rise exponentially.

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