Lion Kills Illegal Game Hunter And His Dogs Near Kruger National Park

In what might be perceived as karma, an illegal game hunter and his two dogs were mauled to death by a lion at a private game farm in Limpopo near Kruger National Park, South Africa on Thursday. The hunter will get no sympathy from lovers of the famous Cecil the Lion, who was killed just over the border from the game farm by an American dentist.

According to authorities in the Limpopo Province, Matome Mahlale, 24, was one of a group of five illegal game hunters, hunting without a license on a private game farm close to Kruger National Park. While they were hunting, two lions charged at the group. Mahlale was mauled to death in the attack with his two hunting dogs, who accompanied the men on the illegal game hunt.

The Daily Express quoted Colonel Ronel Otto of the Limpopo Province police as saying three of the men had managed to climb into a tree and a fourth had escaped the scene when one of the lions attacked, “but the deceased and two dogs were mauled to death.”

Otto went on to say they have a big problem in the area with illegal game hunters, saying it makes huge problems for the police. He said, “It’s difficult from the police’s side because the problem is vast. We do work together with the rural communities – if we learn that there’s a problem, we get there as soon as we can.”

However, while police are able to respond quickly to an incident, Otto said that they can’t prevent the illegal game hunting from happening in the first place.

According to the Limpopo police, they are continuing to investigate the latest incident. However, owners of the private game farm have laid no charges against the surviving illegal game hunters for trespassing. On the other side of the story, the owners of the lion will not face any charges from Mahlale’s family in his killing while hunting illegally.

The incident involving the group of illegal game hunters comes three months after the killing of the iconic Cecil the Lion by American dentist, Walter Palmer, in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. That killing caused outrage from animal lovers worldwide, and thrust the practice of illegal hunting into the spotlight.

As reported by the Washington Post on the latest incident of the illegal game hunter killed by a lion, one local said, “There won’t be many people feeling sorry for him. This is seen as poetic justice for the death of Cecil.”

Many people are still outraged over the death of Cecil the Lion, a popular and GPS collar-tracked lion in Hwange National Park, just across the border from where the illegal game hunter was killed Thursday.

A dentist from Minnesota was considered to be engaged in an illegal hunt when he lured the lion out of the protected game reserve where he lived, killing him with a compound bow and rifle on private land in the area.

Palmer got away with the killing of the lion and is, in fact, welcome to return to Zimbabwe, but his hunting guide, Theo Bronkhorst, who failed to stop Palmer from killing Cecil the Lion, says his life has been ruined by the incident.

As reported on the Inquisitr, after appearing in court relating to the illegal killing of the lion, Bronkhorst was banned from working as a professional hunter and his license was cancelled.

[Photo via Flickr by Sean / CC BY-NC 2.0]