A suspected poacher died Saturday after he was trampled to death by a herd of wild elephants, according to authorities.

The South African National Parks (SANParks), the agency in charge of managing the country’s national parks, announced Sunday the death of an unidentified suspected poacher and the arrest of a suspected accomplice.

The suspected poacher and his accomplice were fleeing rangers in the Kruger National Park (KNP) “when they ran into a breeding herd of elephants,” according to SANParks.

Field Rangers were patrolling the Phabeni area when they noticed a group of three individuals attempting to run away, according to the press release.

“When they realized they had been spotted, the suspected poachers dropped an axe and a bag with their provisions in an attempt to escape from the rangers,” SANParks said. (RELATED: African elephants Are Being Poached To Near Extinction, Conservation Group Warns)

Rangers, with the help of a K9 unit and Airwing unit, arrested one of the suspects who informed authorities the group ran into a herd of elephants and he was unsure if his accomplice escaped, according to SANParks.

“The Rangers discovered his accomplice badly trampled” and the man later succumbed to his injuries, according to the press release. A third suspect was also injured but managed to escape, according to SANParks. Authorities found a rifle at the scene.

Gareth Coleman, the managing executive of the KNP, applauded the arrests.

“We are proud of the teamwork and dedication of our Rangers Corp, our aviators and the K9 unit. It is unfortunate that a life was unnecessarily lost. Only through discipline, teamwork and tenacity will we be able to help stem the tide of rhino poaching in KNP.”

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-7173141" loading="lazy" class="size-full wp-image-7173141" src="https://assetmanagementudemy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/fb_image-167.jpeg" alt="A picture taken on May 28, 2019 shows a pair of white rhinoceros grazing in the morning, with Mt. Kenya's peak in the background, at Ol-Pejeta conservancy at Laikipia's county headquarters, Nanyuki. – Ol-Pejeta, a private conservancy on Kenya's Laikipia plateau that shelters, among other endangered giants, the only two northern white rhinos left anywhere on earth, launched what it calls the world's first wildlife

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