Fox said it was unclear exactly how many poachers may have been killed.
"They strayed into a pride of lions - it's a big pride so they didn't have too much time", Sibuya Game Reserve's owner, Nick Fox, told AFP Thursday. After immediately alerting the police, the staffers chose to continue their investigation the next morning as it was getting dark. The next morning, warden guides found at least three sets of human remains near a high-powered rifle, gloves, wire cutters and survival equipment, tools generally associated with rhinoceros poaching activity.
He added: "They came heavily armed with hunting rifles and axes which we have recovered and enough food to last them for several days so we suspect they were after all of our rhinos here".
When none were found and the area was declared safe a vet tranquilised the six lions in the pride so that police and staff could go inside and recover the remains of the mauled poachers.More news: Mysterious Bright Spots On Ceres Examined Closely By NASA’s Dawn Mission
"We do not know identities but firearms have been taken by the police and will be sent to the ballistics laboratory to see if they have been used in poaching before", said police spokeswoman Capt. Mali Govender.
"Investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains, which were taken by the Department of Health to conduct forensic testing". An investigation will continue.
Fox said he thinks the poachers got onto the reserve on Sunday night or early Monday morning. "However, it now appears likely that the dog had been alerted by something else out of the ordinary coming from the lions", Fox wrote.
"The anti-poaching unit never suspected anything wrong because it was the lions making noise and not the rhinos", Fox said. "There's not much left of them".More news: Love Island SPOILER: Shock twist will see FOUR islanders dumped at once
The reserve is still open to guests.
Rhinos are endangered and are prized for their horns.
According to reports, three suspected hunters were devoured by a pride on the Sibuya Game Reserve in the Eastern Province of South Africa.More news: Willian Dodges Chelsea Exit Talk Amid Barcelona, Manchester United Rumours
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