A poacher was on the hunt at a wildlife preserve site near Limpopo, South Africa, when he was apparently attacked — and eaten — by lions.
The identity of the hunter is not yet known, but authorities stated that the man’s remains (or what’s left of them) are being studied in order to determine where he came from.
“It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions. They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains,” spokesman for the police Moatshe Ngoepe said.
It was originally believed that the man who was killed was a farmer from a nearby village, but that theory was disproved when that individual was found alive. Ammunition and firearms were also found near the remains that were left behind.
This is not the only incident of animals striking back at poachers in recent months. In October, a rhinoceros reportedly injured one such hunter, scaring off the rest of his group, who had illegally entered a wildlife preserve in order to shoot the animal.
It is believed the man mauled by lions last week was not hunting the big cats themselves, but was perhaps out to find a rhino — the preserve he was trespassing on has recently seen higher levels of rhino poaching.
Despite reports of animals attacking poachers, thousands of elephants, rhinoceroses, and other animals are still poached and killed yearly, contributing to their dwindling numbers around the world. Mixed signals from the administration of President Donald Trump likely aren’t helping either: The president had attempted to lift a ban on importing hunting “trophies” to the U.S. before reversing course in November.
Thumbnail / Banner : Reuters, A.J. Loveridge