Usually, poachers consider getting caught by the authorities the greatest risk they can face in this line of work. But for one poacher hunting lions in a South African park, the daring venture proved to be more dangerous than he could have ever imagined when the animals turned on him and mauled him to death.
The incident took place in the province of Limpopo. The poacher was attacked by a pride of lions near Kruger National Park.
After the vicious attack, most of the man's remains were eaten by the lions. In fact, just his head remained.
At first, the authorities were not even sure if the victim was a park employee or a tractor driver. Shortly before the grisly discovery, a driver had gone missing, and he was thought to be the animals' victim until he was later found alive.
Therefore, it's still not clear who the dead man is, but investigations are underway. However, a loaded hunting rifle found nearby made the authorities think that the man was a poacher.
In the recent past, there has been an increase in poaching around the area.
For instance, in 2017, three poisoned male lions were found in Limpopo. They had been decapitated and their paws had also been cut off.
Poaching has led to the death of many endangered animals such as tigers, rhinos, and orangutans around the world.
Generally, rhino poaching is more common. But this man was in a location that is clearly lion territory, an indication that he was probably hunting lions.
Hopefully, the man's head will help authorities determine who he was and what he was truly up to when he met this horrendous death:
"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 that were found at the scene."
Lion body parts are used in traditional medicines in parts of Asia and Africa. That is why these animals are often killed by poachers.
When authorities catch poachers, they often just fine them. For this reason, some poachers don't mind committing the vice as long as the payoff can cover the penalties they will receive for getting caught.
However, this poacher's risk did not pay off as he had hoped. But hopefully, this serves as a cautionary tale for people planning to turn into poachers.