A suspected rhino poacher is dead in South Africa after he illegally entered a park.
The man, who hasn’t been identified, was reportedly poaching with others on April 1 when he was attacked by an elephant. According to a report by Times Live, a South African publication, his remains were eaten by lions.
“His accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road so that passers-by could find it in the morning. They then vanished from the park,” Police Brigadier Leonard Hlathi told Times Live.
Authorities reportedly found a human skull and clothing after the incident.
His accomplices, who range in age between 26 and 35, were arrested and are being held until April 12 pending a bail application. Police said two hunting rifles and ammunition were recovered.
South Africa has made efforts to combat illegal poaching in recent years. According to Save The Rhinos, nearly 700 poachers were arrested for related offenses in 2016. The country is home to 80 percent of rhinos in the world according to WildAid, an anti-poaching organization. According to National Geographic, over 1,000 rhinos were killed in 2018.
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” Kruger National Park managing executive Glenn Phillips told Times Live.
“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.”