In a rare twist of fate that is simply epic, some poachers got a taste of their own medicine in Africa this month. Usually, we’re hearing sad stories about how they’ve managed to poach nearly extinct species that are often on the verge of collapse. But once in a while, as it turns out, Mother Nature fights back.
It all went down at the national parks of Zimbabwe. Ten poachers were illegally hunting for elephants inside of the park when they accidently came upon a pride that contained 20 lions.
The lions defended their turf and attacked the poachers. This resulted in five of them becoming food, three getting severely injured and two being moderately injured. Those who did survive ran away to a nearby village to seek medical treatment. It was there that they were arrested for poaching. Double-whammy.
“The men were visibly traumatized by the attack,” said the park’s Commissioner-General Chihuri,“and after seeing their injuries and the remains of their dead comrades, I can see why. These guys were tough criminals carrying ak-47s, but they were literally shred to pieces and devoured by the lions. I have never seen an animal attack reach this level of violence, and I have seen a lot!”
The surviving poacher’s ordeal is far from over. After they get out of the hospital, they will face up to 25 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
Annually, National Geographic says that 600 wild lions are killed on trophy hunts. About 100 years ago, African lions were numbered at about 200,000. Today, experts say that less than 20,000 remain.
Poaching, loss of habitat, hunting and livestock owner retaliation are the primary causes of the lion’s decline in recent decades.
According to Panthera, “Just over a century ago, there were more than 200,000 wild lions living in Africa. Today, there are only about 20,000; lions are extinct in 26 African countries and have vanished from over 90 percent of their historic range. Though lions still exist in 27 African countries and one Asian country, only seven countries are known to each contain more than 1,000 lions.”
Chalk this rare instance as a win for this pride.