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25th Oct 2021

Suspected poacher trampled to death by elephant in South Africa

Kieran Galpin


No elephants were harmed in the incident

An elephant has trampled an alleged poacher to death at the renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa, leaving his body to be discovered by park officials.

During an intelligence operation aimed at preventing poaching, Kruger officials found that an elephant had already beaten them to the chase. According to the Mail Online, Kruger spokesman Isaac Phaahla told AFP that the body had been discovered on Thursday (October 21) during the mission.


No animals were harmed in the incident and it is believed that a single elephant trampled the poacher while the others fled, Phaahla said.

“Initial investigations suspect that the deceased was killed by an elephant and left behind by his accomplices,” he said.

This isn’t the first time the animals of Kruger have taken matters into their own hands, says Phaahla.

In 2020, a group of lions killed a poacher whose body was discovered when his accomplices used an emergency hotline to report him missing – but there wasn’t much of a body to recover, as three days later rangers could only locate the man’s head.


Kruger has long since been a focus of organised poaching, particularly in relation to their rhino population. In February, Kruger reported that its rhino numbers had plummeted by 70 per cent in a decade. The number of rhinos inside the park now sits at just under 4,000.

But Phaahla says there is hope and over the last two years, the park has gained ground on snuffing out poaching. Thanks to an increase in technology and patrols, rangers have been able to apprehend suspects before they fire a single bullet.

Covid travel restrictions have also aided in the park’s recovery, with Kruger alone having seen a 37 per cent decrease in poached animals.

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