A man illegally hunting rhinos in the Kruger National Park of South Africa ended up getting trampled by elephants and later eaten by a pack of lions sheltered on the reserve he trespassed upon.
Police were informed of the incident after fellow poachers ran out of the game reserve in fear and told authorities about how they lost their fifth group member. Park officials later confirmed that they found the remains of the suspected poacher after he was killed by an elephant stampede. The only items discovered were reportedly a skull and a pair of jeans.
“During this search, which was boosted with a further compliment of Field Rangers, the remains of a body were discovered,” a statement read. “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. Skukuza police were notified immediately and are currently busy with further investigations into the incident.”
The other poachers who accompanied the deceased man to the largest game reservesin Africa were arrested. Once the family was made aware of his passing, rangers in the park formed a search team.
Glenn Phillips, one of the executives at the park later echoed the organization’s condolences in an additional statement.
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” Phillips explained. “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.”
Rhino poaching has reportedly skyrocketed in the last decade, resulting in nearly 6,300 deaths of the endangered species in South Africa and Kenya alone.