WARNING: The graphic content in this article may be disturbing to some.
To this day, there are few things as ironic as brutal men who kill others (and detest pigs) getting brutally killed themselves by the very animal that they demonized. Well, 2018 has already produced a story almost as golden (and just as grisly).
At a national park in South Africa, a man who authorities suspect of being a poacher “was fatally mauled and eaten by a pack of lions,” according to the New York Post. Police have even verified that the lions left behind only a “head and some remains.” This pride of lions did not even need human intervention to bring this heartless hunter to justice. Since there are only about 20,000 left, karma arrived at the scene just in time.
A spokesman for the police in Limpopo said that a loaded hunting rifle was found near the meager shreds which were left behind, the AFP reports. Perhaps the gun jammed or the lions were simply too quick for the man to get a shot off.
This whole gruesome incident took place at “a private game park in Hoedspruit, west of Kruger National Park.” At this preserve are “lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and buffalo,“; the five main big game species.
“It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions,” the spokesman said. “They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains.”
Recently, lions were poisoned and found with their paws sawed off in the area. The identity of the poacher who was eaten is being sought and police hope to determine if he was part of this poisoning or not.
As if often the case, the poaching in the area is spurred on not because of the thrill of the chase as often as the hope of a cure. Many African medical doctors still believe that there are healing elements in the bones and other parts of these endangered animals.
These are some of the most majestic animals on the face of the Earth and they are protected for a reason. There are only about 20,000 of the creatures left in the wild and 40% of the numbers which have fallen have done so during the last three generations.
Hunting cannot resume, for any reason, until the wondrous animals are no longer in danger of being wiped off of the planet. In some rare cases, if a hunter pays for much more to be bred, such hunting is allowed, though it is met with backlash.
Since medicine is often the motive, not a prize or a trophy, those ill will stop at nothing to get well. As awful as it is to admit, this makes sense considering that they believe it is a matter of life or death.
This means that halting poaching is and will remain one of the hardest jobs in all of Africa.
As one poacher discovered, sometimes the animals themselves take an active role in their own preservation.