A poacher in the Kruger National Park in South Africa was trampled to death by an elephant and eaten by a pride of lions on Wednesday.
The person killed has not been named, however The Sun reports experts in the area believe the elephant charged at the victim near Crocodile Bridge. A pride of lions mauled the man and left “very few remains.” A member of the group who fled in fear has been helping the government in the investigation.
The four surviving men in the illegal hunt described how the elephant surprised them and stamped their friend to death giving the others a chance to run for safety. When authorities searched for the man, all that was left was the man’s head and some of his clothing.
According to the managing executive of the reserve, Glenn Phillips, trespassing into the Kruger illegally is extremely dangerous, with this latest incident proof of the danger to everyone.
“They came heavily armed with enough food to last days so we suspect they were after all our rhinos but the lions are our watchers and guardians and they became the meal,” stated Phillips.
This isn’t the first time poachers have been killed in the area. Three poachers at the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa were attacked and eaten by a pride of lions last year after breaking into the park to hunt rhino. Only some limbs, a single shoe, an ax and a rifle were recovered.
The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s largest reserve spanning more than 12,000 square miles. It is home to rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lions and leopards. Rhino poaching has continued to increase in recent years, driven by the demand for rhino horns in Asian countries particularly VietNam. The horn is used in traditional types of Chinese medicine and has become synonymous with success and wealth. The powdered horn is used to treat everything from hangovers to cancer.
The four arrested men will appear in court and have been charged with poaching.
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