Lions ‘not affected’ by killing
WHEN human remains were discovered at the Sibuya Game Reserve on Monday July 2, it was determined that the victim had been killed by lions.
“Sometime during the night of Sunday [July 1] and the early hours of Monday [July 2] a group of at least three poachers entered Sibuya Game Reserve,” Sibuya owner Nick Fox said.
He further reported that they were armed with a highpowered rifle with a silencer, an axe, wire cutters and with food supplies to last them a number of days.
“All the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns,” Fox said.
Early on the Monday anti-poaching dogs were the first to alert anyone that something was amiss and, at about 4.30pm on Tuesday July 3, while on a game drive, a field guide alerted the anti-poaching unit about what appeared to be human remains as well as other items in the immediate vicinity of the lions.
Fox was immediately called to the scene and he called the Indalo Association of Eastern Cape Game Reserves anti-poaching cluster and the police. It now appears that the poachers walked into a pride of six lions and that some of them, if not all, had been killed.
As it was already dark, Fox had to wait until the next morning to arrange for the reserve’s vet to dart the entire pride of lions to enable police forensic teams and the anti-poaching unit to comb the immediate area for clues.
After the news was published on Facebook many people appeared more concerned with what was going to happen to the lions now they had tasted human flesh. When they were located, however, the lions showed no aggression toward the vehicle transporting the vet and were anaesthetised without incident.
Fox wanted to assure visitors to Sibuya that there was no danger from any of the big cats.
“The general consensus in the game industry,” wrote Fox, “is that lions view a gameviewing vehicle containing people as something entirely different from individuals who are walking on the ground. At Sibuya Game Reserve we only view game from specialised game-viewing vehicles and not on foot due to the extremely dense bush and thick forest on the reserve.
“Over the last few days game guides and anti-poaching staff have continued to drive gameviewing vehicles in the vicinity of this pride to check for any behavioural differences and they have confirmed that to date there have been none.”
Fox said that the rangers and staff at Sibuya would continue to be extremely vigilant and remain positive that this incident will not necessitate any changes to the status quo of the lions.
UNCHANGED: The lions at Sibuya Game Reserve at Kenton-on-Sea seem to be totally unfazed that they are believed to have killed poachers on the reserve last week. Many Facebook users expressed concern about the future of the pride of lions after the...