Suspected poacher mauled, eaten by lions in South Africa

A lion relaxes on the banks of the Luvuvhu river at the Pafuri game reserve on July 21, 2010 in Kruger National Park, South Africa. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A suspected poacher was mauled and eaten by a pack of lions in South Africa, who left very little of his body behind, AFP reports.

According to the story by AFP, what was left of the man's body was found over the weekend in the bush at a private game park in the northern province of Limpopo, where animal poaching has increased over the past few years.

“It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions. They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains,” Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe told AFP.

A loaded hunting rifle was found near the body. Police said they are still trying to determine the man's identity.

AFP reports that last year, several lions were found poisoned near a farm in the same province with their heads and paws cut off. The AFP also reports that lion body parts are used in traditional medicine.

Poachers in Africa target lions and also rhinoceroses in South Africa's game parks to feed a booming demand for rhino horn in China, Vietnam, and other Asian countries - it's believed the horns have medicinal qualities.