Authorities at the Kruger National Park in South Africa have recovered the remains of a poacher who faced a terrifying death after attempting to poach a rhino for its horns. The poacher was reportedly killed by an elephant and then had his body eaten by a pack of lions after his four counterparts ran for their lives.
Not an easy day at the park
The four survivors who have since been arrested and now await trial passed on the sad news to the victim’s family who then reported the matter to the park's authorities. After receiving the news, the regional ranger marshaled a search party that lasted hours. The teams called off their operations later that night and then resumed the following morning finding the man's skull and pair of pants as the only remains.
Glenn Phillips, an official of Kruger National Park, warned against poaching activities in the park. He reiterated the dangers involved in such activities saying that, “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.”
Worrying poaching numbers
The Kruger National Park has been a poacher’s haven for a while now with rhinos being the main target for the criminal syndicates. The South African Department of Environmental Affairs estimates that over 1,028 rhinos were butchered in 2018 alone. 769 cases of poaching were reported in the country as of 2018 which included the poaching of other wild animals like elephants, leopards, and lions as well.
The Kruger National Park houses 80% of the world’s rhino population thus making it an obvious target for poachers. Thankfully, the rate of rhino poaching is declining, possibly indicating that conservationists’ efforts are working. However, some speculate that this decreasing rate is simply a result of it being harder to poach the species of animal due to their increasing scarcity.
Other African countries facing South Africa's predicament include Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, and Kenya. In Zimbabwe, poaching activities have thrived due to the nation’s past socio-political instability. Poachers almost wiped out the country's rhino population before turning their focus to South Africa where their efforts continue to thrive. Kenya has also lost a huge percentage of its rhino population to poachers. With the help of well-wishers, the aforementioned nations are tightening poaching loopholes and ensuring that wild animals live to their full life expectancy.