Killed by elephant, mauled by lions

Killed by elephant, mauled by lions

SOUTH AFRICA: Park authorities recovered the remains of a suspected rhino poacher they believe was killed by an elephant before his remains were devoured by a pride of lions earlier this week.

In a statement released by South African National Parks on Friday, the park service said the family of the victim said they were informed of his death by his alleged accomplices.

The family said they were told the victim had been “killed by an elephant” while he and his alleged accomplices were in Kruger National Park, which is located in northeastern South Africa and is one of Africa’s largest game reserves, to poach rhino on Tuesday.

The family then notified local police, who arranged a search party shortly thereafter, the park service said.

It wasn’t until Thursday morning that officials were able to find the victim’s body after receiving further information when four of the victim’s alleged accomplices were arrested the day before.

“During this search, which was boosted with a further compliment of Field Rangers, the remains of a body were discovered,” the park service said. “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 managing executive of Kruger National Park, Glenn Phillips, extended his condolences to the victim’s family in a statement.

“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” 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.”

The victim’s four alleged accomplices are currently in custody and will “appear in court in due course,” the park service added.

Last year, at least two suspected rhino poachers were mauled to death by a pride of lions in the Sibuya reserve after allegedly sneaking into the protected area.

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