A rhino poacher is believed to have been killed by an elephant before being eaten by a pride of lions in South Africa’s Kruger national park.
Three men have been arrested following the incident, charged with possession of firearms and ammunition without a licence, conspiracy to poach and trespassing.
Isaac Phaahla, spokesperson for the Kruger national park, told the local Lebata Herald newspaper that the deceased’s accomplices said he had been killed “by an elephant while they were in the [the park] to poach a rhino on Tuesday evening.”
Rangers organised a search party to look for the man’s body, however according to Phaala, indications at the scene suggested a pride of lions had devoured the remains.
Only a human skull and a pair of pants were found.
Skukuza police were notified immediately and are currently investigating the incident.
Glenn Phillips, managing executive of the Kruger National Park, praised the search party for helping the family find closure and extended his condolences to the relatives of the deceased.
“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,” Phillips said.
An inquest has been opened into the cause of the man’s death.