One has been trampled by elephants while fleeing Kruger National Park in South Africa. The man was fleeing from rangers who suspected him of being a hunter, but the elephants dropped the investigation process. On April 17, rangers spotted an unnamed man and two companions south of the park. Suspecting they were poachers, the rangers tried to stop them, calling the South African Police Service Air Wing for help. The trio fled, into something worse than just the long arm of the law
According to a statement from the South African National Park, the men hurriedly threw an ax and a bag of provisions at them to avoid the rangers. Nevertheless, one was caught with the help of the Air Wing and the K9 unit. He told police that he and his companions had brought a herd of elephants. Rangers found one man trampled to death, but he died shortly afterwards. A third member of the group is thought to have been injured but has been on the run.
A recovered rifle adds to the evidence that the men were not in the park to see the sights. Although poaching is a serious threat to elephants in several parts of Africa, the hundreds of poachers caught in the park in recent years have mostly hunted rhinos. The elephants were probably not defending their own to express pachyderm solidarity. Kruger’s Managing Executive Gareth Coleman said in the statement, “We are proud of the teamwork and dedication of our Rangers Corps, our pilots and the K9 unit. It is unfortunate that a life was lost unnecessarily. Only with discipline, teamwork and perseverance will we be able to help KNP overcome the tide of rhino poaching.”
Coleman asked people around him to provide information that could help him find other predators. “The campaign against poaching is the responsibility of all of us; it threatens many livelihoods, destroys families and takes the necessary resources to fight crime that can be used for jobs and development,” he said. Like other tourist attractions around the world, Kruger has been hit hard by the epidemic. In general, it is an important part of the local economy and is actually one of the main reasons why South Africa attracts international visitors.
Predators not only threaten the survival of rhinos as a species, but also the activities that make up the tourist. Although it may seem that elephants are transmitting justice, they are managed to be hunted by a complex mix, including extreme poverty and the lack of alternative employment among them. It may be argued that those who sell live tracts without risking their lives in the vicinity of influential animals gain the most blame.