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Lions eat suspected rhino poacher after elephant stomps him to death


Four other men escape the South African game reserve on foot without harm

BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Lions ate a suspected poacher who was trampled to death by an angry elephant in South Africa last week, officials said.

"Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants," KNP officials said in a news release.

The victim's four accomplices told authorities that the man was killed Tuesday while they were stalking an endangered rhino at Kruger National Park.

The South African Police Service arrested the other four suspects who fled the game reserve on foot during the incident. Authorities recovered rifles and ammunition from two of the men.

The identities of the victim and his alleged accomplices have not been released.

What happened?

The four suspects told police that an elephant surprised the men while they allegedly attempted an illegal hunt at the game reserve.

The four men told police they had escaped while the elephant was stomping the victim to death. They called the man's family and reported his death.

Park rangers attempted to find the man's body Tuesday before dark but without luck.

On Thursday, the search team located the man's skull and pants.

"Entering the Kruger illegally and on foot is not wise as it holds very many dangers and this incident is clear evidence of that," Glenn Phillips, managing executive at KNP, said in the release.

What else?

Phillips commended the efforts of the search team for helping the victim's family find some closure.

"It was very sad to see the daughters of the deceased man mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains," Phillips said.

The investigation into the man's death is ongoing.

The four suspects remain in custody. It's not clear when they are expected in court.

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