Kruger national park poacher killed by elephant at South African park. Deceased man trampled and left behind by accomplices as the illicit trade continues unabated.
‘Initial investigations suspect that the deceased was killed by an elephant and left behind by his accomplices,’ Paahla said.
The suspected poacher was found with his cell phone still intact, which rangers provided to law enforcement in the hopes of identifying and locating his partners.
The identity of the deceased individual was not released.
Illicit hunting expeditions meeting black market demand
The incident is the latest in a series of illicit hunting expeditions at the park, with a rhinoceros poacher trampled to death by a breeding herd of elephants he ran into after he was spotted by park rangers.
A recent study has discovered that as a result of generations of poaching, some African Elephants have evolved to be born without their iconic tusks.
‘What I think this study shows is that it’s more than just numbers. The impacts that people have, we’re literally changing the anatomy of animals,’ study co-author and Princeton University professor Robert Pringle told the Guardian.
Last week, the national park announced the arrest of four rhino poachers, indicating an increase in poaching this year compared to last year.
‘There has been an increase of 29.41% in the number of poachers arrested (22) as compared to (17) for the same period in 2020,’ officials said.
Officials at Kruger National Park announced in February that it’s rhino population had dropped to under 4,000 or 70% from the previous decade.
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuary, encompassing nearly 5 million acres.
To help combat rhino poaching, in recent months Kruger National Park has deployed more patrols in addition to using dogs and detection technologies to track suspects.
Between July and September, there was a nearly 30% increase in the number of poachers arrested in the park compared with the same period last year, according to South African National Parks.