A suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and his body subsequently eaten by lions at the Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa. According to TimesLIVE, the deceased, together with his accomplices illegally entered the park on Monday, April 1, to allegedly poach when they were attacked by an elephant resulting in his death.
His remains, which included his skull and a pair of pants were eventually recovered on April 4.
“His accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road so that passers-by could find it in the morning. They then vanished from the park,” said Police Brigadier Leonard Hlathi about the incident.
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“Once outside, they reportedly informed a relative of the dead man about their ordeal,” Hlathi added.
Isaac Phaahla, GM of communications and marketing at the KNP said rangers had to step in to help locate the body and help the family find closure, TimesLIVE further reports.
“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 rhino on Tuesday evening,” he said.
“The family then called Skukuza regional ranger Don English who, after assuring the family that he would do everything possible to recover the remains and bring them closure, arranged a search party.
“Rangers on foot, accompanied by members of the KNP Airwing flew over the area that was described by the family but due to failing light, could not locate the body.
“The team resumed the search on Thursday morning, with further information provided after four of the deceased’s alleged accomplices, who had been arrested during the previous evening by the Komatipoort SAPS.
“During this search, which was boosted with a further complement of field rangers, the remains of a body were discovered.
“Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants.”
A managing executive of the park, Glenn Phillips also extended his condolences to the family of the deceased and spoke about how dangerous it is to enter the park.
“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,” Phillips said.
The deceased’s accomplices have also been arrested and arraigned before court on charges of illegally possessing firearms and conspiracy to poach and trespassing, according to TimesLIVE.