Lions fatally maul suspected rhino poachers on South African game reserve

*** EXCLUSIVE *** KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA, JANUARY 2015: Photographer Ronesh was later informed that the pride was in fact known as the Gomondwane Males in Kruger National Park, South Africa. A coalition of six male lions look up with gleaming eyes before strolling towards the photographer sitting only 10m away. Shot in Kruger National Park, South Africa, the following series of stunning images were taken by wildlife photographer Ronesh Parbhoo. The South African photographer later learned that the lions were in fact a coalition that ruled the area. PHOTOGRAPH BY Ronesh Parbhoo / Barcroft Media UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W (Photo credit should read Ronesh Parbhoo / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images). Ronesh Parbhoo / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

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

Nick Fox, owner of the Sibuya Game Reserve in Eastern Cape province, said human remains were found Tuesday along with a high-powered rifle, wire cutters and other equipment.

READ MORE: Lion kills woman at South African sanctuary owned by famous ‘lion whisperer’

Fox said on Facebook that at least three poachers infiltrated the reserve late Sunday or early Monday. He said it is clear that “the poachers had walked into a pride of six lions and some, if not all,” were killed.

Fox said the handler of an anti-poaching dog heard a “loud commotion” coming from the lions early Monday.

He said the reserve’s wildlife veterinarian darted the lions so police forensic investigators could search for evidence.

Story continues below advertisement

South Africa is home to more than 80 percent of the world’s rhinos, 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.

— With files from Reuters 

Sponsored content