In South Africa’s Kruger National Park, authorities found a suspected poacher trampled to death. The area has been hit pretty hard by poachers in the past, particularly targeting rhinos, whose population has plunged by 70 percent over the previous decade, to just under 4,000.
Authorities investigating possible poaching in the area discovered the man’s mangled body and believe an elephant trampled him while other animals were able to escape to safety. But, the elephant spared the man’s cell phone, which rangers found and turned over to police in hopes of capturing other suspected poachers.
Kruger spokesman Isaac Phaahla said, “Initial investigations suspect that the deceased was killed by an elephant and left behind by his accomplices.”
The park has succeeded in cracking down on wildlife crimes over the last two years, thanks to new technology and increased patrols that have helped apprehend suspects before they kill, Phaahla said.
COVID travel restrictions have also given the park a breather.