Many will call it karma, but for the family of the deceased it was a tragedy and it seems wild animals stick up for each other. This is after a man who headed into Kruger National Park to poach rhinos was killed by elephants and his remains consumed by lions. According to their spokesman, Ike Phaahla, the family got in touch with SANPARKS after their relative’s accomplices had said he had been killed while out poaching and they vowed to find his remains and give the family closure.

Poachers head into Kruger National Park after rhinos

As reported by the Lowvelder, the group of poachers illegally headed into the park on Tuesday evening and soon landed into trouble as one of their group was attacked by elephants.

The other poachers fled and went straight to the dead man’s family to let them know what had happened. The family got in touch with Don English, the Skukuza Regional Ranger, who assured them they would do their best to recover their relative’s remains. English then organised a search party.

Some rangers headed out on foot on Wednesday, while members of the KNP Airwing scouted the area described by the poacher’s accomplices. However, as the light was failing, it was not possible to locate the man’s remains.

Search for poacher continues on Thursday

On Thursday morning, the search resumed after they received more information from the dead man’s accomplices, who had been arrested on Wednesday evening by the Komatipoort South African Police Service.

More Field Rangers were added to the search team, who eventually found the man’s remains.

According to the Field Rangers, the scene in which the remains were found indicated that a pride of lions may have consumed the man’s remains, as they only found a pair of pants and a human skull.

The rangers immediately informed the Skukuza Police who are further investigating the incident.

Entering the park on foot and illegally is dangerous

Glenn Phillips, the Managing Executive of the Kruger National Park, spoke about the incident and commended the search party for their help in giving closure to the family. He also extended his own condolences to the relatives, saying it was extremely sad to see the deceased’s daughters in mourning for the loss of their father, while also only having “very little of his remains” to bury.

Phillips went on to stress that it is not wise to enter Kruger National Park on foot, and especially illegally, as there are many dangers involving the wildlife there. He pointed out that this incident was clear evidence of that fact.

Meanwhile, the four accomplices of the deceased poacher have been arrested and are being held in custody. They will be appearing in court in due course.

As noted by the BBC, there is an ongoing problem in Kruger National Park with poaching, as the demand remains for rhino horn in various Asian countries.

That report states that airport authorities in Hong Kong seized the largest haul of rhino horn in the last five years on Saturday, which they value at £1.6m ($2.1m). However, the rhinos poached to provide those horns were priceless.