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Body Of Suspected Poacher Eaten by Lions Has Now Been Identified

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Body Of Suspected Poacher Eaten by Lions Has Now Been Identified

The body of David Baloyi, a suspected poacher from Mozambique believed to have been eaten by a pack of lions, has been identified by his sister-in-law.

Reports say the only part of his body which hadn't been eaten was his head, which was shown to the family in order that the deceased could be identified.

Baloyi, from the Masingiri area of Mavudza Village in Mozambique, is believed to have tracked over the border of South Africa into Umbabat game reserve in Limpopo Province last Friday.

Speaking to the Metro, British wildlife photographer Charlie Lynham, who lives in the area said: "'Lions are not a particular danger in daylight but after dark then that is another matter. It is purely speculation on my part but it would seem they either walked into a pride of lions in the darkness, or they were stalked and attacked and a man was taken down and eaten."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Baloyi is thought to have been hunting at night. The 50-year-old Mozambican was with two fellow poachers who fled the scene after the group was attacked by lions, leaving behind two .456 Winchester rifles.

Winchesters are specifically designed to penetrate thick-skinned African game animals including elephant, rhinoceros and African Cape buffalo.

Speaking to the Metro, Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said Baloyi's sister-in-law received a call after the fleeing poachers informed them of his death.

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"The incident happened on Friday last week when it was believed the three suspected illegal poachers were attacked by a group of lions in the park. The deceased was killed and eaten by these lions," he said.

"The other two managed to escape the attack and fled back to their home country Mozambique and they then reported their ordeal to the family and the sister-in-law was telephoned.

"She confirmed she also heard over the radio an unknown person was killed by lions and that anyone who could help with the identification should go to Hoedspruit Police Station.

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"She went to the police station and was taken to the Maphutha Malatji Hospital Mortuary outside Phalaborwa where she identified the deceased as David Baloyi, aged 50.

"There was only the head to identify him by and it was not in good condition and there was a lot of blood but we have now got a positive identification and we are satisfied it is him."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Despite the best efforts of conservations and anti-poaching units, poaching remains a huge problem in South Africa. In November 2017, nine rhinos were killed by poachers in just two months in Philanesberg National Park.

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Traditionally, big game hunting has been for sport, but in recent times, rhinos in particular have been hunted for the perceived - and widely discredited - medical benefits that can be obtained from their horns.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, south africa, News, Poaching, Poachers, Animals, Lions

Ronan O'Shea
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