Trophy Hunting Horror: Rhino Poacher Crushed by Elephant, Eaten by Lions

Published by Zachary Toliver.

A dismembered head and a few scraps of clothing were all that remained of a suspected rhino poacher who was trampled by an elephant and then eaten by lions.

The internet has been abuzz with the shocking story of a now-deceased poacher who—along with four other men—allegedly snuck in to the Kruger National Park in South Africa to kill an endangered rhino illegally.

The man’s alleged accomplices are all now in police custody. They told authorities that at some point during their illegal hunt, an elephant became spooked and trampled the man. The suspected group of poachers left the dead body by a road for a passerby to find. But rangers were unable to locate any evidence of the body until days later. They concluded that lions had devoured the man, leaving only small traces of him for authorities to find.

“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” Glenn Phillips, the managing executive of Kruger National Park, stated in a news release. “It is very sad to see the daughters of the deceased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”

Until the world rejects trophy hunting as well as the morbid obsession that some people have with dead animals’ body parts, animals and humans will continue to die.

Many humans have been killed by the same animals they intended to slaughter and claim as bloodlust trophies. No one can blame animals for protecting themselves and their homes—just as we’d protect our own—or acting on their natural instincts. The family of this poacher is heartbroken with the very same pain that animals feel when their loved ones are shot and killed by hunters.

Hunters kill millions of animals every year and have contributed to the extinction of species all around the world, including the Tasmanian tiger, the Zanzibar leopard, and the dodo. Rhinos are on course to suffer a similar fate.

Western black rhinos and their northern white counterparts have become extinct in the wild, and a subspecies of the Javan rhino was declared extinct in the animals’ native Vietnam in 2011. Whether they’re in the wild or in captivity, these animals live in danger of being killed by humans who can sell one of their horns for tens of thousands of dollars on the black market.

What You Can Do

You can help stop the practice of killing animals for “trophies.” Take action now by contacting UPS and urging it to stop transporting hunting trophies—and then share this page with your family and friends:

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind