(CBS4/CNN) — Suspected poachers sneaked onto a South African game reserve to hunt rhinos, but a pride of lions found them instead.
A guide at the Sibuya Game Reserve spotted what appeared to be human remains on Tuesday near the group of lions, according to reserve owner Nick Fox.
“Clearly, the poachers had walked into a pride of six lions and some, if not all had been killed,” Fox said on Facebook.
It was getting too dark to search the area, so police came back the next day with the reserve’s anti-poaching unit and other specialists.
The remains were strewn over an area covered with thick brush and Fox said it was impossible to know how many people were killed.
Investigators did find three pairs of boots and three pairs of gloves.
“They were armed with, amongst other things, a high powered rifle with a silencer, an axe, wire cutters and had food supplies for a number of days – all the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhino and removing their horns,” Fox said.
A vet was called to dart the entire pride of lions so that police forensic teams, assisted by the anti-poaching unit, could comb the immediate area for clues, Fox said.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)