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Lions eat suspected poacher in South Africa, leaving just a head

Poaching of animals such as lions has been on the increase in the South African province of Limpopo.

Poaching of animals such as lions has been on the increase in the South African province of Limpopo. Photo: ABC

A suspected big cat poacher has been killed and eaten by lions in a South African game park, leaving behind “his head and some remains”.

Police found a rifle and ammunition next to the remains of the man over the weekend, outside Kruger National Park in the northern province of Limpopo.

“It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions,” Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe told AFP.

“They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains.”

Police are yet to establish the man’s identity.

“The process of identifying the deceased has already commenced and it might be made possible by the fact that his head is amongst the remains,” Mr Ngoepe said.

Lion poaching in the Limpopo province has increased in recent years, with the big cats’ body parts sometimes used in traditional medicine both within Africa and beyond.

Wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation says lion bones and other body parts are increasingly sought-after in South East Asia, where they are used as a substitute for tiger bones.

In January 2017, three male lions were found poisoned near a farm in the province with their heads and paws cut off.

– with ABC

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