While spying some rhinos at the park, a suspected rhino poacher was trampled to death by an elephant and his remains were eaten by a pride of lions, according to officials at the Kruger National Park.
The man was hunting rhinos with four others when they entered the park on Monday, according to the park’s statement.
The man was suddenly trampled by the elephant, which killed him on the spot. Meanwhile, the four other poachers claimed to have carried his body on the side of the road so that someone else can possibly find his body in the morning, the police have reported.
The other four poachers were arrested on Wednesday by the South African Police Service and investigation on what happened continues.
Police had notified the family of the man’s death late Tuesday. They searched the area with other rangers, but they found nothing. However, as the search resumed on Thursday morning, the police discovered the remains of his body.
“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 police said in a statement.
“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,” Glenn Philipps, managing executive of Kruger National Park, said in a statement.
Philipps warned that illegally entering the park and on foot is not wise, thus what happened to the man.
South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs said that 417 out of 680 poaching and trafficking arrests in 2016 were in and around Kruger National Park.
African rhinos are targeted for their horns, because some believe their horns have benefits as an aphrodisiac, while some use it in Chinese medicine, too.