Rhino poacher trampled to death by elephant before being eaten by lions

Pablo Tucker
April 7, 2019

Mpumalanga police and rangers have recovered a human skull belonging to an alleged poacher killed by a white elephant in the Kruger National Park (KNP).

Relatives notified the park ranger at the national park where a search party struggled to find the body but eventually found a human skull and a pair of pants on Thursday.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said they received information that a number of men had gone poaching in the KNP on April 1, when suddenly an elephant attacked and killed one of them.

Rangers and police organised a search for the man's body, which was eventually found after three days on Thursday.


"During this search ... the remains of a body were discovered", South African National Parks said in a statement.

"Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of trousers", said the statement from Kruger National Park.

It's believed there are around 2,000 in Kruger National Park.

Four accomplices with the man have been arrested and are expected to appear in court soon.


There's no evidence that rhino horn, made of the same substance as human fingernails, actually holds any medicinal value.

"Entering the Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise. During the operation, two.375 hunting rifles and ammunition were seized", said Hlathi.

Glenn Phillips, managing executive of Kruger National Park, commended those who participated in the search party and helped the family find closure, offering condolences to the relatives of the deceased.

"Upon their appearance, the court remanded them in custody and will reappear at the same court on 12 April 2019, pending a formal bail application".


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