An alleged rhino poacher who was said to have been part of an illegal hunting group is now dead.
Five poachers are believed to have broken into South Africa’s largest national reserve earlier this month, and only four emerged with their lives.
Officials at Kruger National Park have stated that the unnamed father was trampled by an elephant and subsequently eaten by a lion pride.
The elephant was startled by the presence of the man and quickly and instinctively charged at him.
After his death, a group of lions mauled his lifeless body.
The park’s regional manager, Don English, swiftly formed a search party upon learning of the vicious attack.
Trained rangers on the ground and members of the park’s skilled air wing searched for any sign of his remains.
It is believed, due to indications at the location of the incident, that only his skull and the pair of pants he was wearing remained after he was devoured by the lions.
After the search had been suspended overnight, the skull and pants were discovered in the morning in the reserve’s remote Crocodile Bridge section.
Glenn Phillips, the park’s managing executive, has stated that entering the park illegally and on foot is not wise, and this occurrence serves as proof of that.
He also acknowledged that it was sad to see the man’s daughters “mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”
The deceased hunter’s four alleged accomplices were taken into custody by police and will eventually appear in court. Their ammunition and rifles were also seized.
Illegal rhino hunting is an ongoing predicament at the park, as the creatures are hunted for their valuable horns.
They are regularly sold in areas of Asia for roughly $9,000 per pound.