“The deceased and his accomplices were fleeing from rangers when they ran into a breeding herd of elephants.”
A SUSPECTED poacher was killed by elephants in the Kruger National Park while fleeing from rangers with two accomplices, the South African National Parks (SANParks) said on Sunday.
SANParks said one man was arrested during the incident that took place on Saturday.
“The deceased and his accomplices were fleeing from rangers when they ran into a breeding herd of elephants,” SANParks said.
“Field rangers were out on a routine patrol at the Phabeni area when they detected incoming spoor and made a follow-up in pursuit of the suspects.”
SANParks said that three people were spotted by the rangers and they requested back-up from the Airwing and K9 unit.
When the three suspects realised they had been spotted they dropped an axe and a bag with their provisions and tried to flee. One of the suspected poachers was arrested and informed the rangers that they ran into a herd of elephants, adding that he was not sure if his accomplice escaped.
“The rangers discovered his accomplice badly trampled and who had unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. The third suspect is said to have been injured in the eye but continued to flee,” SANParks said.
“A rifle was recovered and the case was referred to police, whom together with the pathology team attended to the scene.”
The managing executive of the KNP, Gareth Coleman, congratulated those involved in the arrest.
Coleman said that the search for the third person was continuing and called on the community members who live close to the park to assist with information.
“It is unfortunate that a life was unnecessarily lost. Only through discipline, teamwork and tenacity will we be able help stem the tide of rhino poaching in KNP,” Coleman said.
“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.”
– African News Agency (ANA)