Eight men were arrested after at least 40 lions were reportedly killed at a lion farm near Klerksdorp in South Africa.
According to South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, six Vietnamese nationals and two South African men were arrested on Sunday while driving in convoy in Klerksdorp, Viet Nam News reported.
Authorities searched the two vehicles and found freshly cut lion meat and bones, a tiger skin and bones as well as a variety of equipment used to process predator carcasses and bones.
The Vietnamese suspects were identified as Nguyen Huu Son, 30, Nguyen Van Tuan, 33, Dao The Thanh, 38, Pham Van Khue, 56, Chanh, 56 and Cu Quoc Thang 60; the South Africans were identified as Johagem Luis Fouche, 22, and Lourens Pretories, 24.
The eight men face charges of illegal possession of game products and carrying out restricted activities involving specimens that are listed, threatened or protected species.
South Africa has 8,000 lions in captivity bred for hunting, and just 3,000 wild lions living in the country’s national parks where hunting is prohibited.