Rhino poacher is 'trampled to death' by elephant and eaten by lions

Rhino poacher is 'trampled to death' by elephant and eaten by lions

A suspected rhino poacher was trampled to death by an elephant and his body was eaten by a pride of lions, officials at Kruger National Park are saying.

According to a report from the Letaba Herald, the unnamed father was one of the hunters in a group of poachers who, on Wednesday, 3 April, had broken into the largest reserve in South Africa.

The elephant who killed the poacher was reportedly alarmed by the man's presence and so charged straight at him.

Several lions then mauled the man's dead body and his remains were discovered the following day (Thursday, 4 April) in the Crocodile Bridge section, far into the reserve.

The deceased's family were contacted by other members of the group to inform them about the fatality.

elephant Credit: Getty

Don English, the park’s regional ranger, reportedly set up a search party to find the man's remains.

Unfortunately, "very little of his remains" were able to be recovered by the Kruger National Park Rangers.

Glenn Phillips, managing executive of Kruger National Park said:

"Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of 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."

lion Credit: Getty

It is believed, based on evidence from the scene of the attack, that the lions had left little more than a human skull and a pair of pants, the Independent reports.

Don English is aiding the police in the ongoing investigation.

In total, four alleged accomplices of the deceased, who had young daughters, were arrested by the police and will appear in court "in due course", according to the park's spokesperson.