Kruger National Park cautions after poacher's grisly death
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The Kruger National Park (KNP) has warned people against entering the park illegally or on foot following the recovery of the remains of a suspected poacher killed by an elephant.
Rangers and police from Komatipoort and Skukuza recovered the alleged poacher’s remains in the Crocodile Bridge section of the park on Thursday.
KNP managing executive Glenn Phillips said the recovery of the remains had helped the alleged poacher’s family find closure.
“Entering the 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,” said Phillips.
He extended his condolences to the relatives of the alleged poacher and commended the search party for helping the man's family find closure with the recovery of his remains.
Phillips said that according to the family of the deceased, they had been called by his alleged accomplices who notified them that their relative had been killed by an elephant while they were in the park to poach rhino on the evening of April 2.
The family called Skukuza regional ranger Don English, who arranged a search party and assured them he would do everything possible to recover the remains.
Rangers on foot, accompanied by members of the KNP Airwing, flew over the area described by the family but due to failing light could not locate the body, said Phillips.
He added that the team resumed the search on the Thursday morning, armed with further information from four of the dead man’s alleged accomplices, who had been arrested the previous evening by Komatipoort police.
During this search, boosted with a further complement of field rangers, the remains of a body were discovered, said Phillips.
Indications at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains, leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants.
Skukuza police were notified immediately and were currently busy with more investigations into the incident, according to Phillips. He said the four suspects were in custody and would appear in court soon.