Officials: Suspected rhino poacher trampled to death by elephants

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, South Africa (WSVN) — Officials with South African National Parks announced the death of a suspected rhino poacher and the arrest of an accomplice.

In a news release, officials say field rangers were out on a routine patrol at Kruger National Park when they came across three suspects who immediately fled.

Authorities said the subjects dropped an axe and a bag while trying to escape.

Rangers were able to arrest one of the suspects. Investigators said the suspect informed them that the group had run into a herd of elephants and was not sure if the accomplice was able to escape.

Rangers later found the man who had been badly trampled. He later died from his injuries.

The third suspect is believed to have been injured in the eye but was able to get away

Officials said a rifle was found.

“We are proud of the teamwork and dedication of our Rangers Corp, our aviators and the K9 unit,” Managing Executive of the KNP Gareth Coleman said. “It is unfortunate that a life was unnecessarily lost. Only through discipline, teamwork and tenacity will we be able to help stem the tide of rhino poaching in KNP.”

Authorities are now searching for the third subject.

“The campaign against poaching is the responsibility of all us; it threatens many livelihoods, destroys families and takes much-needed resources to fight crime which could be used for creating jobs and development,” Coleman said.

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