Revenge of the Elephants: animals trample rhino poacher to death in South African park

Elephants in Mapungubwe, Botswana.

A suspected rhino poacher met his demise over the weekend at the Kruger National Park in South Africa when elephants trampled him to death.

According to South African National Parks (SANParks) spokesman Isaac Phaahla, three poachers were trying to escape and ran into the elephant herd.

Rangers on patrol later discovered a “badly trampled” man who had succumbed to his injuries.

Another man was also attacked but managed to flee, while a third was in custody.

The rangers recovered a rifle and an axe, Phaahla said.

Poachers shoot rhinos and chop off their horns to feed an insatiable demand in Asia. The horns are used in traditional medicine or believed to be an aphrodisiac.

And with South Africa being home to about 80 percent of the world’s rhino population, it’s a haven for poachers, with much of the killing concentrated in Kruger.

But according to the Associated Press, the slaughter has decreased over the past six years.

In 2020, the rhino death toll dropped by a third to 394 over the previous year, according to government statistics.

Nevertheless, Phaahla told AFP, incursions have not decreased, and can total up to 40 a day.