According to police reports coming out of South Africa near Kruger National Park, African lions have devoured a suspected poacher. Remains of the believed-to-be poacher’s body were discovered Saturday, Feb. 10, next to a loaded rifle and ammunition at private game park in Limpopo, the country’s northernmost province.
"It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions,” said Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe to the Agence France-Presse news agency. “They ate his body—nearly all of it—and just left his head and some remains.”
Media outlets including BBC News and TheNewDaily.au explained police have yet to establish the man’s identity but say it may be possible because the man’s head is among the remains.
The remains were found in the bush at a private game park near Hoedspruit, which borders Kruger National Park. Poaching, particularly of lions and rhino, has increased there in recent years.
I was with my wife, Karen, in 2015 as she hunted Cape buffalo in that very area. While we were there, we were told poaching was on the rise. Much of this part of Africa along the border of Kruger National Park is very thick bush and there are a lot of lions in the area. The thick bush makes it difficult at best to catch poachers so it appears poetic justice was served when the lions played judge, jury and executioner. You can only hope that this will make other poachers think twice before heading into the bush.
Lion poaching in the Limpopo province has increased in recent years as lions’ body parts continue to be used in traditional medicine in Africa and beyond, including in Asia where they are being used as a substitute for tiger bones.