The hunter has officially become the hunted. Last week, the body of a suspected poacher was found mauled by a pride of lions in South Africa.
By the time authorities recovered the body of the 46-year-old male, most of the remains had been eaten by the pride, making identification difficult. A loaded hunting rifle found nearby has provided some much-needed clues.
Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe said officials are now using their “investigative resources to see if we can successfully identify the deceased.”
“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,” Ngoepe told AFP.
The mauled male body was found inside Ingwelala Private Nature Reserve, which is a private game park located near the famous Kruger National Park in north-eastern South Africa.
According to reports, the man in question had no business hunting on the reserve, which is why authorities believe he was there for poaching – although the exact animal he was illegally hunting is still up for debate.
Last year, in the same province, several lions were found poisoned and decapitated – most likely for use in traditional medicine. This trend and the location of the body in “lion territory” suggests the man was after lions.
It’s also possible, however, the man could have been rhino poaching, which is generally considered a more lucrative form of illegal animal slaughter.
Historically, the region experiences higher levels of rhino poaching than lion poaching.
Regardless of what vulnerable or endangered species the poacher was after, the situation represents some sweet (albeit gruesome) justice.
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