A number of body parts and shoes were found at the scene with vets tranquilising lhe lions at the Sibuya Game Reserve to recover items.
Reserve owner Nick Fox, 60, said: “We found enough body parts and three pairs of empty shoes, which suggest the lions ate at least three of them but it is thick bush and there could be more.
“They came with hunting rifles and axes which we have recovered and enough food to last several days, so we suspect they were after all of our rhinos.
“But the lions are our watchers and guardians and they picked the wrong pride and became a meal.
“While we are saddened at any loss of life the poachers came here to kill our animals and this sends out a very clear message to any other poachers that you will not always be the winner.”
Police spokeswoman Captain Mali Govender confirmed the remains were found on July 3 and detectives are trying to work out how many poachers were eaten. She said: “We do not know identities but firearms will be sent to the ballistics lab to see if they have been used in poaching before.”