A man tracking game has been mauled to death by two young male lions that were immediately put down at a wildlife reserve in South Africa, police said Monday.
The 27-year-old game tracking specialist, Malibongwe Mfila, was tracking wildlife on Saturday including elephants and lions in order to advise guides on planning game drives.
He reportedly decided to stop his vehicle and continue his search on foot.
As he was walking, “he was suddenly attacked and killed by two lions,” said Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo in a statement.
“Someone who was also driving inside the park noticed these two lions busy devouring the deceased and he then alerted the park manager who alerted the police,” he added.
Police said the lions were found still devouring the victim’s body and were both immediately shot and killed by the rangers.
Mojapelo said putting the big cats down was in line with conservation policies.
“When the lion acts like that, obviously it will repeat the same deed,” he said.
In a statement the South African National Parks authority, SANParks, confirmed that the two lions were euthanised immediately for post-mortems.
SANParks Chief Executive Officer Fundisile Mketeni said the incident had left the staff “distraught”.
The incident took place near the Marabata luxury lodges, situated in the Marakele National Park in the mountainous northernmost province of Limpopo.