Poacher Breaks Into National Park, Gets Trampled By Elephants And Eaten By Lions

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The incident is one of many in the country over recent years.

A poacher who broke into a national park in South Africa, apparently in order to hunt, has died after being trampled to death by elephants and then eaten by lions.

The incident involved four other men, all of whom are now thought to be in police custody, and occurred in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

Police picked the four fleeing men up outside the nature reserve, and they told officers how an angry elephant had stamped one of their group to death after becoming startled. At the time of the incident, they were trying to hunt an endangered rhino - an offense in and of itself.

After learning of the elephant attack, rangers from the park set off immediately to try to find the man's body. His remains were found in an area of the park known as Crocodile Bridge.

The search was unsuccessful but resumed the next morning. Rangers had the grim task of informing the poacher's family that he had died and assured the distraught family that they would do their utmost to recover his body.

However, after several days they found his body but realized that it had been eaten by a pride of lions whilst lying in the reserve. Although there was not much left of his body, the poachers did manage to recover some of his clothes and some of his remains.

The Kruger National Park managing executive, Glenn Phillips, said: "Entering the Kruger illegally and on foot is not wise as it holds very many dangers and this incident is clear evidence of that."

"It was very sad to see the daughters of the deceased man mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains."

Phillips also extended his condolences to the family of the deceased man and offered thanks to the search party for their efforts to recover the man and offer "some closure" to the family.

Sadly, this is not the first incident of its type in South Africa in recent years. Last year, at least three poachers were eaten by lions at the Sibuya Game Reserve in the country's Eastern Province.

The park's owner confirmed that only a number of body parts, a single shoe, their rifles and an axe were recovered.

He said: "We found enough body parts which suggest to us the lions ate at least three of them but it is thick bush out there and there could be more bodies out there."

"They came heavily armed with enough food to last days so we suspect they were after all our rhinos but the lions are our watchers and guardians and they became the meal."

"We are of course saddened at any loss of life but these men came to kill our animals and this sends out a powerful message to poachers that you will not always be the winner."

Reaction to this story on social media has been celebratory for the most part, with many people saying that the poacher got what was coming to him. Personally, I think this is a little harsh.

I've said time and time again how much I dislike trophy hunters, but at the end of the day, there is a family out there who have lost a father, and we should try to show a little respect. AAx

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