Four poachers were stalking a rhino in the Kruger National Park (KNP), when an angry elephant stamped one of them to death. Three others left in a hurry, leaving their friend behind. Later that day, a pride of lions feasted on the body.
According to the Mpumalanga police, the incident was reported by the family of the deceased.
“The police received information that some men had gone poaching in the KNP on 1 April 2019, when suddenly an elephant attacked and killed one of them,” Brigadier Leonard Hlathi stated.
The search operation had taken several days before the remains were found.
“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,” SANParks reported.
The police reported that three men, aged between 26 and 35, had been arrested. Two .375 hunting rifles and ammunition were seized.
The suspects briefly appeared in the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of possession of firearms and ammunition without a licence, conspiracy to poach, and trespassing. They are to face court on April 12, pending a formal bail application. An inquest was opened in connection with the dead suspect.
KNP managing executive Glenn Phillips reminded that “Entering the Kruger illegally and on foot is not wise as it holds very many dangers and this incident is clear evidence of that”.
#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