Suspected poacher probably killed by elephant in South Africa

The Rangers suspect that the poacher was attacked by an elephant.

The Rangers suspect that the poacher was attacked by an elephant.

Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

It is believed that a suspected poacher found dead in a South African national park was killed by an elephantpark authorities said.

Kruger National Park rangers discovered the body Thursday after following tracks in the Stolznek section of the giant game reserve, a park spokesperson said in a statement on Twitter.

“Initial investigations suspect that the deceased was killed by an elephant and left behind by his accomplices,” the statement said.

The identity of the deceased was not released.

The Rangers did not find any dead animals in the immediate area, the spokesman said.

Park officials took the opportunity to warn that it is “dangerous to hunt illegally” in the park.

“Criminals can lose their life and liberty,” the statement said.

The Kruger National Park is the largest wildlife sanctuary in South Africa, spanning nearly 5 million acres.

The game reserve is also one of the regions of the country most affected by rhino poaching.

The park’s rhino population has decreased by 60% since 2013.

In the first half of 2020, 166 rhinos were poached in South Africa and 88 in the Kruger National Park.

3,529 white rhinos and 268 black rhinos remain in the Kruger National Park, according to the National Parks of South Africa.

To help combat rhino poaching, in recent months the Kruger National Park has deployed more patrols in addition to using dogs and detection technologies to track down suspects.

Between July and September, there was a nearly 30% increase in the number of poachers arrested in the park compared to the same period last year, according to the National Parks of South Africa.

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