In a wildlife refuge located in South Africa, there was a series of lion killings that had all the hallmarks of poachers. According to IFLScience, three lions in Tzaneen Lion and Predator Park were killed, decapitated and their bodies stolen back in January 2017. Later in the year, another lion was killed by poison and then mutilated.
African authorities believe that the bodies, prized for the medicinal value of the large cat’s bones, were sold to buyers in Mozambique. Their bodies had been stolen, police believe, to be sold to traditional medicine practitioners in Mozambique.
African traditions have been linked to the use of lion parts to ‘traditional medicine’, but it is reported that a rising demand from East Asia has prompted a rise in poaching incidents.
“The trend can be seen in export numbers – in 2008, 50 lion skeletons were legally exported from South Africa but by 2011, this figure increased to 573,” reported IFLScience.
The rising demand had the South African government allowing for the legal export of up to 800 lion skeletons, a move that angered animal rights activists who insist that the large cats face dwindling numbers. In just over two decades, the wild lion population has reportedly fallen 43 percent, leaving only 20,000 left.
Now, another fatal incident occurred, this time at the Ingwelala Private Nature Reserve in Hoedspruit, South Africa, but the tables of predator-prey were turned in this case.
A worker at the reserve reported that while going about his duties one day, he heard a loud scream out in the reserve. Officials scrambled to the scene and fired guns to scare away a group of lions, but it was not quick enough to save the life of an ambushed hunter, who exhibited signs of severe mauling and was decapitated.
A hunting rifle and ammunition were found near the body of a man mauled by lions in South Africa https://t.co/QoGyDwyNML
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) February 12, 2018
All that was left behind was the man's "head and some remains," police said https://t.co/nA209rTajK
— New York Post (@nypost) February 12, 2018
The victim, who has not been identified, is believed to be a poacher who was illegally hunting on the reserve.
“It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions,” Moatshe Ngoepe, a spokesperson from the Limpopo police department is quoted as stating.
What do you think? Did the killing of the poacher strike you as an act of revenge?
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