Rhino hunter in the Kruger National Park appears to have been killed by elephant and then eaten by lions

As is well known globally, the Kruger National Park in South Africa has had a very serious problem with rhino poaching over the last decade or so. A significant proportion of the remaining wild white rhinos live with in the Kruger so it is not a surprise that this is where much of the white rhino poaching has gone on.

At the same time, there has been a significant issue of man-eating lions within the Kruger National Park.

This has generally been caused by migrants trying to move from Mozambique and Zimbabwe into South Africa, going through the Kruger National Park because it is less well protected than the rest of the border. Due to the fact that many of these people are malnourished and weak and are travelling at night to avoid the tourists and guards they regularly come into contact with lions and the lions have developed a taste for human flesh.

Once the lion starts eating humans generally they will not stop without intervention, and as their behaviour is passed on from generation to generation this usually requires a killing of the man-eating lions.

The problem in this park has been made worse by the fact that poachers are increasingly being killed by the lions.

So in this instance, the man in question had entered the park with the intention of hunting Rhino (something that is illegal within Kruger National Park). At some point during his attempt, he had caused irritation to a group of elephants, which charged him and trampled him to death. The body was then found by lions who ate it all. All that was found by park authorities was a skull and a pair of trousers. The associates of the poacher had told the family, which let the park authorities know. Given the size of Kruger National Park (7,500 square miles or 19,500 square km) which is only slightly smaller than the country of Wales, without being informed the body would have probably never been found.

The man-eating lions of the Kruger National Park have not yet had a dramatic impact on tourist numbers. This is a saving grace for the South African government as dealing with the man-eating Lions with the dual problems of migrant thoroughfare through the Kruger National Park and the large number of poachers being killed within its boundaries will make it extremely difficult to stop the man eating in the near future.

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