A pride of lions left little behind after killing and eating a man believed to be a poacher, South African police said Monday.
“They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains,” Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe told AFP. The agency reports a loaded hunting rifle was found beside the body in a private nature reserve in Hoedspruit.
The fatal mauling happened close to the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves and home to lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos.
The deceased has not been identified. But Ngoepe told the Evening Standard that “the process of identifying this body has already commenced and it might be made easier as his head was amongst the remains found at the scene.”
british wildlife photographer Charlie Lynham, who lives near the reserve, has frequently photographed the lions who call it home. “It would seem very possible that you have poetic justice here,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.
The lion population has been decreasing over the years with the African Wildlife Foundation reporting their numbers have declined by about 43 per cent in the last 21 years. Human expansion into lions’ habitat is part of the problem, as are poachers.
In January 2017, poachers decapitated and chopped of the paws of three male lions at a game lodge in Limpopo province. Police said the lions were fed poisoned meat before being mutilated.