The lion lover Gert Claasen, 48, has been left heartbroken after six of his lions suffered a grisly fate, with three of them were butchered into parts and three other were stolen.
Gert believed the incident was organised by a gang of poachers targeting the six lions to harvest them for muti, which is used in black magic potions sold by traditional healers.
Gert is the owner of a remote farm in Petrus Steyn in Free State, South Africa. He found the animals were killed and stolen when he made his regular check for them.
The lower jaws and paws were chopped off by poachers who had cut their way through a fence. They broke into his farm and fed lions with poisoned chickens.
One lioness can be seen being skinned and her organs were removed while one white female and two brown females remain missing, among which two were pregnant and were expected to have 13 cubs together.
Police have been launched an investigation. Gert said, "I came upon the most ugly scene I have ever seen in my life. Even my workers cried when they saw them. I had brought them up since they were cubs.
"I believe they were killed for muti and the other lions stolen for their bones.
"It is so heartbreaking. There were 13 cubs inside my lionesses. They lived with me for a year in my house. They are my children. If anyone has any information on them there is a reward."
Friends of Gert reveal he treated his lions like children. A vet has taken samples from the corpses of three at the scene to find what kind of poison was used.
Gert will bury the mutilated bodies on his farm and he is reviewing security at his farm and plans to buy new guard dogs while his old ones were also poisoned two weeks before the incident.
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