A man reportedly poaching rhinos at the Kruger National Park last week was crushed to death by an elephant before lions devoured his body.
The New York Times reports that the unnamed man was with four other alleged poachers in the South African park on Tuesday when an elephant crushed him to death. The accomplices, later arrested, called the victim’s family, who in turn called authorities.
“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,” media spokesperson Isaac Phaahla said, according to Letaba Herald.
Searches found only a skull and a pair of pants near Crocodile Bridge while searching for the man. The man’s accomplices admitted the was at the park poaching for rhinos when the incident occurred. They claimed they found the man and carried his body to an area in the park where he could be easily found before fleeing again.
#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
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise,” managing executive of the park, Glenn Phillips, stated. “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.”
Meanwhile, police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the man’s accomplices are facing several charges in connection to the incident, according to a press release by the South African Police Service.
“The suspects appeared yesterday, April 5, 2019, at the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court facing charges of possession of firearms and ammunition without a licence, conspiracy to poach as well as trespassing. Upon their appearance, the court remanded them in custody and will reappear at the same court on April 12, 2019, pending a formal bail application.”
Although immoral and illegal, poachers reportedly hunt for rhinos because their horns sell for around “$9,000 per pound in Asia,” The New York Times reported. The South African Department of Environmental Affairs said that over 1,000 rhinos have been killed since 2017.
An inquest was scheduled for the victim.
[Feature Photo: Pixabay]