A pride of South African lions turned the tables on a man believed to have been hunting in the Ingwelala private nature reserve. Workers heard someone screaming for help at the reserve on Friday night and rushed to sound the alarm. They and authorities discovered the remains of a man’s body. Lying next to it were a hunting rifle and ammunition.
The animals “ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains,” said Limpopo police spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe.
Authorities found two other sets of human footprints, both seemingly running away from the pride of lions. They also found a second discarded rifle, leading them to believe that there were likely three men hunting either lions or rhinoceroses that night near the Kruger National Park. There are fewer than 20,000 lions left in the wild in Africa.
Wildlife photographer Charlie Lynham, who lives close to the reserve, told reporters, “If you go out walking in the bush in the dark then I am afraid you are fair game in the wild and there is no way that anyone can attribute any blame to those lions for this kill.”
Hunters kill millions of animals every year and have contributed to the extinction of species, including the Tasmanian tiger and the great auk, all over the world. Numerous animals are injured but not killed by hunters, escaping only to die slowly and painfully from blood loss or starvation. Cecil the lion, for example, was shot with a steel arrow and left to suffer for 40 hours before he was finally killed.