There’s not much left of a rhino poacher that illegally targeted rhinos in Kruger National Park located in South Africa. A search team was only able to recover a pair of pants and a skull.
According to authorities, he was killed by an elephant, and his body was later devoured by lions.
After an elephant “suddenly” attacked and killed the poacher, “his accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road so that passersby could find it in the morning. Then they vanished from the park,” police said.
His fellow poachers notified his family of his death late Tuesday, and then a search party went out to try and recover the body. Police flew over the area, and park rangers scoured on foot, but the initial search party was unable to locate the body.
The search resumed Thursday morning, and authorities found the few remains left of the suspected poacher. “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,” the park service statement said.
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise. It holds many dangers, and this incident is evidence of that,” said Glenn Phillips, the managing executive of Kruger National Park. “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.” He extended his condolences to the man’s family.
Officers are continuing to investigate what happened, and three individuals who were involved in the illegal hunt were arrested Wednesday by the South African Police Service. They had rifles and ammunition in their possession.
The suspected poacher has not been identified. His death is still being investigated.
The suspects that were arrested appeared in Komatipoort Magistrage Court on Friday to face charges of possessing firearms and ammunition without a license, trespassing, and conspiracy to poach. They are in custody, and due back in court this week, pending a formal bail application.
The African rhino is targeted by poachers for its horn, because some Eastern medicine practices make it incredibly valuable in parts of the world.
Kruger is an intensive protection zone for rhinos, and the government deters poaching by using aircraft, dogs, special rangers, and an environmental crime investigation unit.