Suspected poacher killed by elephant and then eaten by lions

Suspected poacher killed by elephant and then eaten by lions

The family the deceased poacher was contacted by his "colleagues" who informed them of the elephant incident, but the men were unable to retrieve the body of their pal before fleeing.

Police said they seized guns and ammunition from the surviving men.

Relatives of the man alerted authorities when he didn't return from his trip last Monday, sparking a three-day search before his remains were located along with a large rifle and some bullets.

A statement released by the park confirmed that a search party attempted to locate the man's remains, but found only a human skull, a pair of pants and a shoe. According to police, the men took the poacher's remains to the road, so passerby could find it to the morning, and they left the area, police said.

Four more alleged poachers have been arrested after the incident and will appear in court "in due course", the statement said.

"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 victor".

The animal residents of Kruger National Park in South Africa reportedly meted out their own kind of justice.

"That was the only remaining part of the deceased", Kruger national park spokesman Isaac Phaahla told AFP.

Glenn Phillips, managing executive of the park, warned of the dangers of entering the park illegally. But following the arrest of four alleged accomplices on April 3, the rangers resumed their efforts with additional information provided to them by the suspected poachers.

Rhino horn is worth about $9,000 per pound in Asia, driving a lucrative and illicit trade.

"The demand for rhino horn comes from extremely wealthy consumers who nearly never face any form of justice, and the poachers themselves are more often than not desperate people existing in crushing post-colonial poverty".

Kruger National Park, which runs along South Africa's northern border, is home to between 5,000 and 7,000 of the prized rhinos, according to NPR.

"In fact, traditional Chinese medicine never has used rhinoceros horn as an aphrodisiac", Eric Dinerstein, who served as the chief scientist at the WWF for 25 years, wrote in his 2003 book The Return of the Unicorns: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros. It also houses a considerable chunk of Rhino population. More than 500 rhinos were poached for their horns in the first eight months of a year ago.

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