UPDATE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the poachers were attacked by Rhinos. It was the hippos.
Poaching seems quite a bit less appealing today after an incident that occurred in South Africa. All that remains of one man, who entered Kruger National Park with the intent of illegally hunting animals, is his skull and a few scraps of clothing. After he and two companions snuck into the nature reserve under cover of night to check some illegal traps they had assembled, they were apparently ambushed by a group of angry hippos. The three men all ran in different directions, but only two made it out of the park with their lives. The third, park officials say, was devoured by lions.
According to the report from BBC Brasil, the two hunters who escaped the park after being chased by
rhinos hippos informed their unlucky partner's family of the grim news. The family then told officials, who later found the man's remains--which were few after the man had been taken for a meal by lions in the park.
Officials aren't sure exactly which animal killed the poacher, telling the Mirror:
It appears the dead man was charged and injured by hippos. It's impossible to say whether he was alive or dead by the time the lions got him.
Poaching in Kruger National Park, and throughout South Africa, is not so uncommon--with rhinos being the primary victims, long hunted for their coveted horns. Recently, however, officials have stepped-up surveillance hoping to nab poachers crossing into the park.
Officials say the deceased man's two accomplices remain in custody, likely thankful to be alive. The group involved in the incident are suspected to have been poaching in the park before, setting up traps to ensnare animals.
This story should serve as a cautionary tale for any would-be poachers considering a career in illegal wildlife trade. While authorities may have their hands full when it comes to stopping hunters, there remains a more natural form of justice, lurking among the wildlife so often pillaged--and in this case justice, like dinner, was served.
You may be familiar with another story out of Kruger National Park, captured in the video "Battle at Kruger."
More on Rhino Poaching
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Rhino Poaching Spikes, but there is Hope