According to Save The Rhino, South Africa is home to more than 80% of the world’s rhinos, and it is also the country that has been the hardest hit by poachers. In 2018, 769 rhinos were poached, which is 259 less than in 2017.
But don’t let those numbers fool you, poaching is still a prevalent problem, especially in Kruger National Park, a protected habitat, where most of the illegal poaching takes place.
Recently, a group of a suspected poacher, who is believed to have entered the park illegally paid the ultimate price.
In the beginning of April, park rangers received a call from the victim’s family stating that their relative was killed by an elephant. He had reportedly been inside the park with four others to poach rhino.
“His accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road so that passers-by could find it in the morning. They then vanished from the park,” Police Brigadier Leonard Hlathi told Times Live.
The family was assured everything would be done to recover their relative’s remains, but due to fading light they could not locate a body.
When the search resumed, officials located the remains of the suspected rhino poacher in the Crocodile bridge section of the park.
Officials believe that a pride of lions devoured the man’s remains, as they were only able to recover a human skull and a pair of pants.
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” Managing Executive of the KNP, Glenn Phillips, said in a statement. “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.”
#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
While Phillips expressed his condolences to the man’s family, online reaction to the suspected poacher’s death was quite the opposite.
Today some elephants killed a poacher and then lions ate the poacher and today was a good day that is all ??
— God (@thegoodgodabove) April 7, 2019
Karma, it’ll get you in the end.
?It’s the Circle of life ? pic.twitter.com/Kvg7VSEvFZ
— Nate Zeman (@natezemanphoto) April 7, 2019
Cheers to nature!!
— Richard Sharp (@ricksharpy) April 7, 2019
The deceased man’s accomplices were arrested.
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