Kruger National Park Rangers assisted by members of the Komatipoort and Skukuza police recovered the remains of a suspected poacher in the Crocodile bridge section of the park on 4 April.
According to the family of the deceased, they were called by his accomplices who notified them that their relative had been killed by an elephant while they were in the Kruger National Park (KNP) to poach rhino on Tuesday evening. The family then called Skukuza Regional Ranger, Don English who, after assuring the family that he would do everything possible to recover the remains and bring them closure, arranged a search party. Rangers on foot, accompanied by members of the KNP Airwing flew over the area that was described by the family but due to failing light, could not locate the body, SANParks said.
The team resumed the search on Thursday morning, with further information provided by four of the deceased’s alleged accomplices, who had been arrested during the previous evening by the Komatipoort SAPS.
During this search, which was boosted with a further compliment of Field Rangers, the remains of a body were discovered. Indications found 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 are currently busy with further investigations into the incident, SANParks said.
Reacting to the incident, the Managing Executive of the KNP, Glenn Phillips commended those who were part of 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 diseased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”
The four arrested individuals are in custody and will appear in court in due course.