NELSPRUIT, South Africa – A rhino poacher in South Africa met a gruesome end—he was trampled by an elephant and then eaten by lions.
The South African Police Service says they first received information about the poaching incident at Kruger National Park on April 1. A poacher was hunting rhinos with his friends when an elephant attacked and killed him.
His accomplices said they carried his body to the road so passers-by could find it in the morning.
They told a relative about the man’s death, and that relative called police, asking for help with recovering his body.
Police and rangers launched a search operation for the man’s body, but all they found were a human skull and several pieces of clothing.
“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,” said a spokesperson for Kruger National Park.
Police launched an investigation and arrested the dead poacher’s three accomplices. Police seized two .375 hunting rifles and ammunition from the men. They appeared in court yesterday, and they face charges of possession of firearms and ammunition without a license, conspiracy to poach, and trespassing.
“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,” said Glenn Phillips, managing executive of Kruger National Park.