A hunter attempting to poach a rhino in a South African national park was crushed to death by an elephant before being eaten by a pride of lions.

All that was left of the man was a pair of tattered pants and his skull.

Three of the victim's friends ran away after the victim was crushed by the elephant in Kruger National Park and rang his family, the Daily Mail reported.

The victim's family reportedly contacted the park's ranger service who launched a search on foot on Wednesday last week.

Advertisement

The Kruger National Park Air Wing also searched for the victim's body but could not find it.

On Thursday, the search for the missing man was resumed.

The man's body was found near the Crocodile Bridge section of the park.

According to Don English, Skukuza Regional Ranger: "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."

Local police arrested three of the man's accomplices and seized two .375 hunting rifles and ammunition.

Three large white rhinoceros lying down together in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo / 123RF
Three large white rhinoceros lying down together in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo / 123RF

Kruger National Park, one of Africa's largest game reserves, is renowned for its high density of wild animals, including lions, leopards, rhinos and elephants.

The man's tattered pair of pants were found in the Crocodile Bridge area. Photo / via Twitter
The man's tattered pair of pants were found in the Crocodile Bridge area. Photo / via Twitter

"Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that," said Glenn Phillips, the national park manager.

"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."

Advertisement