A suspected poacher was trampled to death by a herd of elephants in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
The suspected poacher was one of three in the park on Saturday when they ran into a breeding herd of elephants.
According to a statement by South African National Parks: “The deceased and his accomplices were fleeing from rangers when they ran into a breeding herd of elephants.
“When they realized they had been spotted, the suspected poachers dropped an axe and a bag with their provisions in an attempt to escape from the rangers.”
The rangers called for backup from the South African Police Service Air Wing and K9 unit.
One suspect was arrested and “informed the rangers that the group had run into a herd of elephants and was not sure if his accomplice had managed to escape,” the statement added.
“The Rangers discovered his accomplice badly trampled and unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. The third suspect is said to have been injured in the eye but continued to flee. A rifle was recovered and the case was referred to police, who together with the pathology team attended to the scene,” the statement continued.
A search for the third suspect is underway.
Established in 1898 Kruger National Park is South Africa’s largest protected area, home to more than 140 different species of mammals including buffalos, rhinos, leopards, lions and elephants of which there are just under 20,000.
Gareth Coleman, managing executive of the Kruger National Park, urged those who live nearby to help them in their battle against poaching.
“We are proud of the teamwork and dedication of our Rangers Corp, our aviators and the K9 unit. It is unfortunate that a life was unnecessarily lost. Only through discipline, teamwork and tenacity will we be able to help stem the tide of rhino poaching in KNP.
“The campaign against poaching is the responsibility of all us; it threatens many livelihoods, destroys families and takes much-needed resources to fight crime which could be used for creating jobs and development,” he said.
In a separate incident on Sunday, three more suspected poachers in possession of a high caliber hunting rifle, poaching equipment and ammunition were arrested at the Kruger National Park, as per CNN.
I hope more people do come forward to help in the fight against poaching. The sooner we all realize that earth’s creatures do not belong to us the better.