A suspected rhino poacher was trampled to death by an elephant, with his remains then eaten by lions earlier this week.
The incident took place at the Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa on Tuesday (April 2). The man’s remains were recovered in the Crocodile Bridge section two days later (April 4).
In a statement released by South African National Parks, the family of the deceased man explained other members of his group rang to notify them of his death.
These four individuals fled the scene, but were picked up by police, being arrested and taken into custody.
They will appear in court in due course.
The group had entered the park to poach rhino, with their trip ending early when they encountered an elephant.
After the deceased man’s family received the call, they alerted the Skukuza Regional Ranger, Don English, who immediately set out to find the body.
Assuring that he would do everything in his power to recover the remains, English arranged a search party who carried out their mission on foot.
The rangers were accompanied by the KNP Airwing which flew over the area, but due to it getting dark, they could not locate the body.
Resuming their search on Thursday morning as soon as it was light, the team had further information from the man’s alleged accomplices who had been arrested.
The information proved useful as the remains of the man’s body were discovered, a human skull and pair of pants as the rest appeared to have been devoured by a pride of lions.
Police were notified, and according to the statement ‘are currently busy with further investigations into the incident’.
The Managing Executive of the KNP, Glenn Phillips, thanked those who helped with the search, and offered his condolences to the family of the deceased.
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 diseased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.
The park has recently been stepping up its efforts in the war against rhino poaching in South Africa, hiring a team of sniffer dogs which will try and catch contraband at the local airport
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