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Lions Eat Horn-hunting Rhino Poachers

Three hunters apparently were eaten by a pride of lions earlier this week in South Africa when they were hunting rhinos in an effort to cash in on their horns.

The Facebook commenter above called it "karma." I say the hunters (and the lions) got their just desserts.

The poachers were so badly mangled by the lions that the only way rangers and police officers could determine that three people were involved was to count their clothes and shoes.

"One of our guys found what he thought was a soccer ball, Nick Fox, owner of the private game reserve in Eastern Cape Province, told The New York Times. "It turned out to be a skull."

Fox said the poachers had carried wire cutters for cutting through fences, a high calibre rifle, an axe for chopping off horns, and several days' supply of food.

Apparently the lions didn't have much of a taste for the hunters' food -- mostly bread -- preferring to munch on the men instead.

According to The Times article, rhino horn is worth about $9,000 per pound in Asia as it is a prized ingredient in Chinese traditional medicine and is considered a status symbol.

There are about 20,000 wild rhinos in South Africa, more than 80 percent of the world's population. Since 2008, more than 7,000 have been hunted illegally, with 1,028 killed in 2017, according to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, The Times reported.

Fox says rhino poaching has gotten so serious that he's had to establish a special unit of guards, patrol vehicles and dogs to protect the rhinos in his preserve.

It's not just big game hunters who are to blame, however. The Times pointed out that the Eastern Cape is South Africa's poorest province, with gross domestic product of less than $3,700 per capita and an unemployment rate of more than 45 percent. Thus, it's tempting for some locals to poach rhinos to sell their horns so they can feed their families.

But turns out that's not such a great idea when you run into a pride of lions. You end up being food instead.

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