A man suspected of breaking into Kruger National Park in an effort to poach rhinos was trampled by an elephant and then eaten by a pride of lions.
CNN International reported…
Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after a suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant, then eaten by lions in Kruger National Park https://t.co/Bxz8YBo7Dy— CNN International (@cnni) April 7, 2019
A statement from the Kruger National Park read in part…
“Kruger National Park Rangers assisted by Komatipoort and Skukuza SAPS helped the family of a suspected poacher to find closure by recovering his remains in the Crocodile bridge section on Thursday, 04 April 2019.
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 KNP to poach rhino on Tuesday evening.”
His four accomplices were arrested, while the managing director of the park offered his condolences to the family of the man who was killed.
The managing executive of the park extended his condolences to the family.— Simon Coldham (@SimonColdham) April 7, 2019
"Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise," he said. "It holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that." https://t.co/4K5EwIE4ra
Poaching is not to be confused with big game hunting.
Big game hunting is when people pay money to legally hunt large, often exotic, animals for sport.
Poaching is when people hunt animals without permission, often for a resource, such as ivory, that may be valuable.
There was an unsurprising lack of empathy for the life lost:
A rhino was saved by an elephant and a lion. What a beautiful story.— Sal (@19msa98) April 7, 2019
That's what I'm saying...Rhino's got quite a security team.— L. Lopez (@littleliarlopez) April 7, 2019
They are the Heroes of the Animal World and the good humans world— bella4001 (@moo2n) April 7, 2019
The elephant, lion and rhino afterwards pic.twitter.com/nJrVV0c4xZ— Eric (@Eric_M888) April 7, 2019
Hakuna mutata— Carl Bingman (@CarlBingman) April 7, 2019
Cycle of life— ChiaraVera (@ChiaraVera13) April 7, 2019
Hope they don't get indigestion 😂— Andii (@Andii_Sc) April 7, 2019
However, one person was quick to point out how complicated this story is.
Seeing a lot of schadenfreude-laced responses to the story about a poacher being trampled by elephants and eaten by lions. Beyond being cruel and distasteful, this sort of thing also overlooks the structural causes of poaching.— Matthew Clayfield (@mclayfield) April 7, 2019
Were local communities in a better economic place, their men wouldn't feel the need to poach big game for international criminal interests. Or at least fewer of them would. Community development needs to be a key aspect of any national or international anti-poaching strategy.— Matthew Clayfield (@mclayfield) April 7, 2019
Another person explained further…
And, blah blah blah, you are all so excited about nature fighting back against one poacher as if that is the fucking solution. Yes. I used the f- word.— Dr. Kiki Sanford (@drkiki) April 7, 2019
But, elephants are not going to fix this for us. Neither is a beautiful David Attenborough nature program.— Dr. Kiki Sanford (@drkiki) April 7, 2019
YOU need to vote for people who will truly represent you.
YOU need to make different purchasing decisions.
YOU are part of this ecosystem.
And while poaching is an awful thing that destroys natural animal communities, poachers don’t drive the system.
8) Finally, it seems like justice to celebrate that recent poacher’s demise by the animals themselves. But note that it was the Rangers who recovered his remains for his family.— Lincoln's Bible (@LincolnsBible) April 7, 2019
The crime syndicates behind the poachers are destroying people too.
Whole communities. Just 4 profit.
Like many issues, this one can’t be untangled from issues of poverty. Hopefully one day soon, poaching will be stopped, both for the animal and human communities destroyed by it.