The jungle might be a cutthroat place, but at least in some cases, animals have each other’s backs. Earlier this week, a group of rhino poachers was attacked and eaten by a pride of lions after the poachers broke into the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa. Nick Fox, the owner of the reserve, told Buzzfeed News that a staff member discovered the human remains near a pride of six lions on Tuesday. “That’s when they found the ax, various pieces of clothing, shoes,” Fox said.
While it’s unclear exactly how many poachers were killed, at least three pairs of shoes and gloves were found. It seemed like the poachers had come equipped with a high-powered rifle with a silencer, wire cutters, and an axe for cutting rhino horns. The rifle is currently being examined by investigators to see if it’s been involved in other crimes.
This isn’t the first time poachers have targeted this particular reserve. In 2016, three rhinos were killed in the park for their horns. There are fewer than 30,000 rhinos in the world, and South Africa is home to more than 80 percent of the population, so any rhino death is considered detrimental to the survival of the species. “I just thank my lions,” said Fox. “They saved our rhinos from another onslaught.”