Poaching wild animals isn’t safe for humans, either. Another suspected poacher was found dead in Kruger National Park in South Africa on Thursday, USA Today reports. Just last April, rangers caught three men hunting for rhinoceros and gave chase. One of them was caught, but another one came across a herd of elephants and was trampled to death. Park officials investigating the incident say they think the man was killed by elephants, and that none of the park’s resident wildlife was harmed. In a tweet, representatives for the park said “it is dangerous to hunt illegally in the KNP. Criminals stand to lose their lives and their freedom.” The man’s body was found during an operation in the park organized to crack down on poaching.
Officials say a cell phone was found with the deceased, which authorities are hoping will lead to his accomplices, CBS News reports. Rhinoceros poaching is common in the park, which has lost 70% of its rhinos in the last ten years. Elephant poaching has become so prevalent that the population appears to be evolving, with more and more calves born tuskless. Four rhino poachers were caught Tuesday, though, as part of a recent effort to stop poachers before they actually hunt any animals. COVID travel restrictions have decreased the number of poachers, too, and the park says the number of illegal kills is down 37 percent compared to 2020. (Read more poaching stories.)