Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest game reserve, continues to suffer from major issues regarding wildlife poaching, particularly rhino poaching. A survey showed that about 93 percent of people living on the continent believe it is a problem since it is home to 80 percent of the world’s rhinoceros population. The rhino population has also experienced a significant decline due to poaching over the past several years.
|Rhinos in the wild / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons|
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources recently announced the latest penalties for the poaching of wild animals: fine of $120,000 for the killing of either Black rhinos or regular rhinos, $1,000 for killing zebra, $6,000 for killing buffalo, and $20,000 for poaching elephants.
|A lion roaming / Photo Credit: Violator1 via Flickr|
Last April, a suspected rhino poacher was found crushed to death by an elephant before he was devoured by a pride of hungry lions in Kruger National Park. All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, reported that the park’s rangers launched a search party on foot on the park grounds after being alerted by the poacher’s accomplices. The rangers spent two days before they finally uncovered what was left of the victim. In an interview, Skukuza Regional Ranger Don English said, “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.”
|South African Police showing the poacher's remains and hunting weapons / Photo Credit: @SAPoliceService on Twitter (via All That's Interesting)|
Glenn Philipps, Kruger National Park’s Managing Executive, released a statement after they found the body. They reminded the public how dangerous the animals in the park can be. “Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that. 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 said.