Suspected poacher mauled to death and eaten by lions in South Africa

Suspected poacher mauled to death and eaten by lions in South Africa

The unknown man was attacked by the pride in bush area at the Ingwelala Private Nature Reserve, in the north-eastern province of Limpopo, Iol reports.

But the lions quickly killed their victim and devoured most of his body before being chased off, leaving his head untouched.

Police initially believed that the body belonged to a tractor driver who worked on the reserve, but further investigation revealed that no staff members were missing.

Luteni Muhararukua and other alleged poachers entered the Etosha National Park illegally in the hopes of killing rhinos for their horns, which can be sold for thousands of pounds on the black market.

'I can not say if it was poachers as the matter is under investigation but that is their weapon of choice and they usually work in groups of three and work under cover of darkness. Unconfirmed reports suggest that a panga was also found close by. Police told AFP on Monday that supposedly "little was left of the victim's body".

A loaded hunting rifle was found near the body on Saturday morning.

Police said remains were found at a private game park where animals had been poached in recent years, according to AFP.

"Anyone who can assist the police on the identification of the deceased‚ may go to Hoedspruit Police".

While an unnamed worker at a nearby reserved confirmed: "The head was still there but the lions had eaten most of the rest".

"A scream was heard and the lions were scattered by the sound of gunshots but it was too late to do anything for him".

They could be extinct by 2050 if they are continued to be killed at the current rate.

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