Big-game poaching is an increasingly dangerous issue in the wild, pushing once-thriving species to near extinction. And while the majority of the popular opinion is against poaching, a lot of cultural medicines and rituals call for the parts of these animals, which is letting the poaching scene thrive. Poachers, generally, are just bad actors taking advantage of a bad situation. But it seems like a little poetic justice has been served over the weekend. A suspected poacher’s remains were found scattered around a lion’s den. Read on to learn the whole story.
Late last week, government officials of the Limpopo province in South Africa found the remains of an alleged poacher surrounded by a group of lions. While it hasn’t been confirmed that the victim was a poacher, there was a loaded rifle next to the remains of the victim.
Next to Nothing
The remains of the body were so scarce that officials are having a hard time identifying the body. All they found in tact were the remaining bones and dismembered parts of the body. The deterioration of the body led officials to believe that the body was killed recently.
The incident took place on a private game park in Hoedspruit, west of Kruger National Park. While officials won’t say which one it was, it was either Thornybush or Kapama. Both are beautiful and feature 5 big game animals in their parks: lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and buffalos.
A History of Poaching
Poaching has unfortunately been a mainstay in South African culture, and if not for the sake of the survival of the species alone, it has to stop. A total of three-quarters of all African lion populations worldwide are declining, with only about 20,000 currently left in the wild. Those numbers have fallen by more than 40 percent within the past three generations, according to World Wide Fund for Nature statistics.
In January of last year, a terrible poaching incident took place in Limpopo at the Kwaggadans Lion Enclosure. Two lions were found poison and decapitate, with their paws and heads removed. It is suspected that the poachers were trying to sell the parts on the black market, but fled the scene.
Unfortunately the area saw a string of incidents very similar to the previous mentioned poisoning. A total of 5 poisoning incidents occured in the Limpopo alone, causing a state of emergency in zoological and conservationist circles.