Authorities said it appeared the man's remains had been devoured by a pride of lions. Authorities said it appeared the man's remains had been devoured by a pride of lions. Reuters

Suspected poacher killed by elephant and eaten by lions in South Africa

Apr 07, 2019

An elephant has killed a suspected poacher and lions have eaten his remains, with a human skull and a pair of pants all that authorities have been able to recover.

The man and his accomplices entered South Africa's Kruger National Park in order to poach rhinos on April 2, according to South African National Parks.

The family of the man, who is believed to have been trampled to death, contacted rangers who arranged an aerial and foot search the following day and arrested his four accomplices.

However, due to failing light, they were unable to locate the man's body, and with "further information" provided by the suspected poachers, the search continued into Thursday.

"During this search … the remains of a body were discovered," South African National Parks said in a statement.

"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 Kruger National Park, one of Africa's largest game reserves, is renowned for its high density of wild animals, including lions, leopards, rhinos and elephants.

Park managing executive Glenn Phillips warned people against entering the reserve on foot, saying "it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that".

"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," he said in a statement.

It is not the first time a suspected poacher has fallen victim to their prey in the Kruger National Park.

Last year lions killed and devoured a man believed to have been poaching animals in the park, leaving behind only "his head and some remains".

Elephants in the reserve have also been known to react violently to the presence of humans.

In 2014, footage emerged of an elephant overturning a car, seriously injuring a woman when one of its tusks ripped open her thigh.

The elephant was later put down and was discovered to have been in musth, a condition that usually affects male elephants once a year when testosterone levels, aggression and sexual activity increase.

 

Credit: ABC News

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