A suspected rhino poacher has been trampled to death by an elephant before his body was eaten by lions, authorities believe.
South African National Parks confirmed the remains of the man’s body had been retrieved after they were informed by the man’s relatives they feared he’d died during a visit to Kruger National Park earlier this week.
The man’s alleged accomplices, who have since been arrested, tipped off his family regarding his unfortunate end while they allegedly poached rhinos.
The family were told he had been killed by an elephant.
Rangers and police organised a search for the man’s body, which was eventually found after three days on Thursday.
On examination of the man’s remains, rangers believe that a pride of lions devoured his body.
They revealed only a human skull and a pair of pants were left behind.
Skukuza police were notified immediately with investigations into the incident ongoing.
Managing Executive of Kruger National Park Glenn Phillips commended those who were part of the search party for helping the family find closure and offered his condolences to the man’s relatives.
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” he said.
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“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 four arrested individuals are in custody and will appear in court at a later date.
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