At least two rhino poachers were eaten by lions on a South African game reserve, the owner said.
A ranger taking guests at the Sibuya Game Reserve in Eastern Cape on a safari drive discovered human remains near a pride of lions.
“We suspect two were killed, possibly three,” Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.
An axe, three pairs of shoes and gloves were later found when police and an anti-poaching unit arrived. The lions were heard making a commotion early on Monday.
“We thought they were rhino poachers and the axe confirmed it,” Fox said. “They use the rifle to shoot the animal and the axe to remove the horn.”
South Africa is home to more than 80% of the world’s rhino, whose population has been depleted by poaching for buyers in Vietnam and China where rhino horn is coveted as an ingredient in traditional medicine.
More than 1,000 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year.