Five lions were brutally murdered in Akwaaba Predator Park in Limpopo, South Africa on Monday night.
The face and paws of one of the lions, who was named after the Lion King character Mufasa, were viciously hacked off. The staff at the Akwaaba Predar park has told that poachers broke into the park and mutilated the lion.
When the poachers saw the staff, they fled the scene, leaving Mufasa in a pond of his own blood while other four lions were lying dead after being poisoned. It is thought that the paws and face of Mufasa will be sold and used for black magic rituals or keepsakes for trophy hunters.
The male big cat was raised in the park since he was a cub. The park manager, Bronwyn Moss, said that the attack on Mufasa was really ‘heartbreaking’.
“All the lions were hand reared from when they were cubs so it’s like losing five children,” Moss said.
“They were close to our hearts. My only hope is that the lions were already dead by the time the poachers started chopping off parts,” she added.
It is believed the poison used to kill all the five lions was a fast-acting drug. However, the exact acting agent in the poison has not been yet identified.
The Wildlife authorities and police were contacted after one of the patrolling officers saw the horrendous scene at 11.30pm. The case is currently under investigation.
Akwaaba is offering a sum of 100,000 rand (about US $6,811) as a reward to anyone who has an information that could lead to the conviction or arrest of the people behind it.
The reward money was announced in an appeal on Akwaaba Predator Park’s Facebook page. The post reads:
“So to all our friends and family of Akwaaba, those of you who have not heard yet. Tragedy struck last night at our park. We lost 5 Lions to murderers. That is what they are, they killed our babies. Our hearts are broken. We are down but not out. as you may have seen, we are offering a cash reward for any information that leads to the successful capture and conviction of these murderers. Please help us, lets stand together and find these monsters!!!!!”