Elephant tramples poacher to death in Kruger National Park
Elephant tramples poacher to death allowing the rest of its herd to flee in South Africa’s Kruger National Park
- A suspected poacher has been trampled to death by an elephant in South Africa
- An anti-poaching operation found the mangled body at Kruger National Park
- The man’s phone was spared, and police are using it to track down other members of his group
An elephant has trampled a suspected poacher to death in South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park, a spokesman said Friday.
The mangled body was discovered Thursday during an intelligence operation aimed at preventing poaching, Kruger spokesman Isaac Phaahla told AFP.
But before any animals were harmed, an elephant stomped one poacher to death while the others fled, Phaahla said.
An elephant has trampled a suspected poacher to death in South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park, a spokesman said Friday (stock image)
‘Initial investigations suspect that the deceased was killed by an elephant and left behind by his accomplices,’ he added.
The elephant spared the man’s mobile phone, which rangers have turned over to police to aid their efforts to track down his fellow poachers, he said.
Last year, lions similarly dispatched a poacher in Kruger. That victim’s accomplices called an emergency hotline to report him missing.
The lions left behind only the man’s head, found three days later, Phaahla said.
The mangled body was discovered Thursday during an intelligence operation aimed at preventing poaching, Kruger spokesman Isaac Phaahla said. Pictured: A stock image of Kruger National Park
Kruger has been hard-hit by poaching, particularly of rhinos. The park reported in February that its rhino population had plunged by 70 percent over the previous decade, to just under 4,000.
The park has succeeded in cracking down on wildlife crimes over the last two years, thanks to new technology and increased patrols that have helped apprehend suspects before they kill, Phaahla said.
Covid travel restrictions have also given the park a breather, with Kruger having seen a 37 percent reduction in animals poached compared to last year, he said.
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