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Suspected Rhino Poacher Meets His End—Via Elephants

Man killed in South Africa's Kruger National Park over the weekend while running away from rangers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2021 8:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – Rangers busted a trio of suspected poachers in a South African game reserve over the weekend, with tragic consequences for one of them. ABC News reports that on Saturday, rangers spied the three men, who were believed to be trying to poach rhinos, in Kruger National Park, where a chase ensued. When one of the suspects was eventually found and detained, he told the rangers his group had run into a herd of elephants as they fled and that he wasn't sure what had happened to the others, per a release. The rangers soon found out: They found one of the other men dead, "badly trampled" by the elephants.

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The third suspect is still being sought, believed to have suffered an eye injury in the fracas. Investigators, meanwhile, found a rifle and an ax while searching the grounds. "It is unfortunate that a life was unnecessarily lost," park chief Gareth Coleman says. He adds that "the campaign against poaching is the responsibility of all us. It threatens many livelihoods, destroys families, and takes much-needed resources to fight crime." Kruger National Park, which also houses lions, leopards, and buffalo, is one of the nation's most popular safari locations and one of the largest game reserves in all of Africa, per the Australian AP. (Read more poachers stories.)

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