A suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then devoured by lions in a South African national park, where a search team only managed to recover his skull and a pair of pants, according to a report.
The man met his fate last week after entering the Kruger National Park with four accomplices with the aim of hunting rhinos, according to CNN, which cited parks officials.
An elephant attacked the alleged poacher and “his accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road so that passers-by could find it in the morning. They then vanished from the park,” police said.
A search party scoured the area in search of his remains and eventually made the gruesome find.
“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,” the parks service said in a statement.
Glenn Phillips, the managing executive of Kruger National Park, extended his condolences to the man’s relatives.
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Three people who took part in the illegal hunt were arrested Wednesday.
The suspects appeared in Komatipoort Magistrate Court on Friday on charges of possessing firearms and ammunition without a license, conspiracy to poach and trespassing.
The African rhino is hunted for its horn because of the belief among some who practice Eastern medicine that it has benefits as an aphrodisiac.