Fact Check

Pride of Lions Kills Five Poachers and Injures Three Others in Zimbabwe

Reports that a pride of lions had killed a group of poachers in Zimbabwe came from a hoax news article.

Published Jul 8, 2016

Claim:
A pride of lions killed a group of poachers in Zimbabwe.

In July 2016, a fake news article published by the entertainment World News Daily Report started recirculating on the internet:

The Zimbabwean authorities have confirmed that 5 men were killed and 3 others were severely injured when attacked by a pride of lions in the Hwange National Park, in the Matabeleland North province.

The victims are local poachers who were illegally hunting for elephants inside the boundaries the national park, when they were surprised by a group of almost twenty adult Southwest African lions, the same species as Cecil the Lion, who died a few kilometres from the site in July 215.

The story posted above was originally published in March 2016, but it didn't gain much traction until a few months later. While it's not clear exactly why the article received a boost in popularity, it may be because Cecil the Lion was killed a year before, in July 2015. The article may have also received a bump after an anti-poaching group posted a hoax video that purported to show a lion attacking two poachers.  

Regardless of the reason for the article's popularity, this is a piece of fake news from a well-known entertainment web site:

WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people –  are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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