Rhino poacher eaten by lions after being trampled by an elephant

A suspected rhino poacher has been eaten by lions after being trampled to death by an elephant in South Africa.

After the lions had finished, only his skull and trousers were left, South African National Parks (SANP) said.

The man’s family were alerted by his “accomplices”, who said he had been killed by an elephant while they were “in Kruger National Park (KNP) to poach rhino”, SANP said in a statement.

Skukuza Regional Ranger, Don English, arranged a search party after being called by the family.

“Rangers on foot, accompanied by members of the KNP Airwing, flew over the area,” SANP said.

Initially they failed to find the body, but after being given further information by four of the man’s accomplices, they searched again and found what little was left.

“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,” SANP said.

Police were called in to investigate, and the man’s fellow poachers arrested.

The head of Kruger National Park – on South Africa’s eastern border with Mozambique – said it was “not wise” to enter the park “illegally and on foot”.

Glenn Phillips added: “It holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that.

“It is very sad to see the daughters of the diseased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”

SANP said the “four arrested individuals are in custody and will appear in court in due course”.

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