Rhino poacher trampled to death by elephants and eaten by lions after illegally entering reserve
Authorities tried to find the man's body to give closure to his family but were able to retrieve only his skull and a pair of pants from the national park.
The poaching of rhinoceros has increased in recent years as rhino poachers have been trying to kill the animal for its horn in Africa. Recently, a group of poachers had entered the Kruger National Park in South Africa illegally to poach rhinos, but one of them was met with quite a violent death after he was trampled to death by elephants. The remains of the man were reportedly eaten by a pride of lions.
The other members of the hunting group escaped death but were arrested. It was they who informed the family of their dead partner after which a search unit was formed to find the man who was attacked by a herd of elephants at the South African game reserve.
According to a report in Letaba Herald, Kruger National Park Rangers assisted by Komatipoort and Skukuza SAPS helped the family members get closure by recovering what remained of the poacher in the Crocodile bridge on April 4. The media spokesperson of the national park said, "According to the family of the deceased, they were called by his accomplices who notified them that their relative had been killed by an elephant while they were in the KNP to poach a rhino on Tuesday evening."
#sapsMP Komatipoort: A human skull found in the Kruger National Park (KNP) is believed to be that of a man reportedly killed by an elephant while poaching with his accomplices on 01/04; duo arrested, rifles & ammo seized. MEhttps://t.co/XXsXpJqTjA pic.twitter.com/4Oye38Eddh— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) April 6, 2019
Skukuza Regional Ranger, Don English was the one who initiated a search party after being approached by the family members. KNP Airwing flew over the area while rangers on foot explored the area described by the family, but were unable to find the body due to failing light on Wednesday. They resumed the search on Thursday after the four accomplices gave more detailed information of their whereabouts while the attack took place.
The scene where the body was found indicated that a pride of lions had devoured the remains of the body leaving behind only a human skull and a pair of pants. The Skukuza police department was notified of the same and are currently investigating the case.
Managing Executive of the national Park Glen Phillips reacted to the incident. He commended the officers who took steps to bring closure to the family of the deceased but also warned others who plan to illegally enter the national park of its consequences. He said, "Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that. It is very sad to see the daughters of the deceased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains."
The accomplices who were arrested are custody of the police department and are expected to appear in court soon.