While the suspected poacher died, his cell phone remained intact and rangers handed it over to law enforcement to help find and identify his fellow poacher who fled the scene.
Trigger Warning: This story contains graphic details and images of animal cruelty that readers may find disturbing.
An alleged poacher, who is believed to have been trampled by an elephant, was found dead in South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park. Park spokesman Isaac Phaahla revealed that a mangled body was discovered on Thursday by national park rangers during an intelligence operation intended to prevent poaching. "Initial investigations suspect that the deceased was killed by an elephant and left behind by his accomplices," Phaahla told AFP, according to CBS. While the suspected poacher died, his cell phone remained intact and rangers handed it over to law enforcement to help find and identify his fellow poacher who fled the scene.
Suspected poacher trampled to death by elephants in South Africa— seekandfind2 (@seekandfind23) April 19, 2021
A suspected rhino poacher was killed in an elephant stampede at a South African national park on Saturday, officials said. The man was among three suspected poachers spotted by rangers at… https://t.co/6YA0jcvBNm
Thankfully no animals in the immediate area were killed due to their actions. But a man did die and so the park warned, "it is dangerous to hunt illegally" in the area. "Criminals stand to lose their lives and freedom," read a tweet posted by Kruger National Park, which according to USA Today is the nation's largest national park which is located in northeastern South Africa. A poacher was met with a similar fate back in April when he was trampled to death in Kruger by a breeding herd of elephants. Apparently, he ran into the giant animals while running away after park rangers spotted him.
South African rangers have recovered the skull of a suspected rhino poacher who was trampled to death by an elephant and his body devoured by lions in the Kruger National Parkhttps://t.co/MfTv7cTZnF— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 8, 2019
Then in 2019, a rhino poacher was killed by an elephant before being eaten by lions at the park. Unfortunately, animals, especially rhinos in Kruger have been threatened by poaching in recent times. The continuous hunting of elephants for their ivory has impacted the animal's evolution greatly. An alarming study has discovered that female African elephants in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park are born without ivory tusks as a result of brutal poaching and killing that they have been subjected to for generations, especially during the country's civil war. "What I think this study shows is that it’s more than just numbers. The impacts that people have, we’re literally changing the anatomy of animals," explained study co-author and Princeton University professor Robert Pringle according to The Guardian.
A suspected poacher was trampled to death by a herd of elephants in Kruger National Park on Saturday, according to a statement by South African National Parks. https://t.co/UKXqbh0qIS— FOX5 Las Vegas (@FOX5Vegas) April 19, 2021
In the 1970s, 18.5% of female animals in Gorongosa didn't have tusks, and today that number has increased to 51% as per recent research from the journal Science. Researchers also found that tuskless elephants were five times more likely to survive because they are able to evade poachers. Now, South African National Parks rangers have now implemented strict measures to stop poachers from harming animals. According to South African National Parks, there's been a nearly 30% increase in the arrest of the number of poachers in the ark between July and September 2021.
The heartbreaking plight of elephants is not something new. Back in 2019, a drone shot revealed a disturbing picture of the horrors that animals have to face due to poachers. 28-year-old Justin Sullivan, who hails from Cape Town, South Africa, shared a gory photo of an elephant on its side with its head cut into half and the portion with the tusk separated and thrown near it. "This specific elephant was slaughtered in an extremely inhumane manner. The photo represents just how isolated and disconnected not only the elephant was in that moment, but how disconnected we are from the situation," he wrote in the post, adding that he heard about the dead elephant from some rangers who were talking about the carcass while he was in Botswana for a film project.
No one in the world needs an elephant tusk besides an elephant. ❤️🐘— Ketan Nardhani (@ketan83) July 25, 2019
Did you know that an elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory?
Botswana: Brutal image shows elephant with trunk and tusks cut off.😣😢
Source: https://t.co/8TT6c1KjYw@deespeak @KP24 @RandeepHooda pic.twitter.com/UnnRhjCCMe
"They said an elephant had just been poached and I asked to be taken to the site. On arrival, I used a drone to capture the image. The image is called ‘Disconnection’, the perspective of the image gives context to the situation which you would never be able to see from the ground. People have obviously reacted with mixed feelings of anger and sadness, especially with the recent lift on the hunting ban in Botswana, but this photo has driven some constructive dialogue around how we can promote more sustainable elephant conversation and solve our current ecological crisis," explained Sullivan who hoped that his post would make raise awareness and encourage better laws that would protect the majestic creatures.