KARMA: Rhino Poacher Stomped by Elephants, Eaten by Lions

rhino poacher killed elephant Lion feeding

[GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

The demand for rhino horn has driven populations of the big ungulates toward extinction. Poachers feed a strong demand from Asia. From savetherhino.org:

Rhino horn is very desirable amongst the wealthy classes of Viet Nam, where it is considered a symbol of power and wealth, associated with business success and high social standing. This cultural importance is supported by an underlying belief in health benefits, in the form of traditional and non-traditional medicine. Some users believe that rhino horn can detoxify the body and therefore cure anything from a hangover to serious illnesses.

That’s why a rhino horn can sell for as much as $300,000 on the black market and retails for about $45,000 a pound. But a band of poachers trolling the Kruger National Park in South Africa found out that there are other critters out there, too.

As The Sun reports . . .

A poacher hunting rhinos in the Kruger National Park met a gruesome end after being trampled to death by an elephant and then eaten by a pride of hungry lions.

Four other poachers who fled the game reserve in South Africa in terror were picked up by police and explained how a member of their gang had been killed.

They described how an angry elephant surprised them as they stalked endangered rhino and stamped their friend to death giving them a chance to run for safety.

That’s a shame. When wardens went out looking for the former game thief, there wasn’t much to recover.

…Nick Fox said a head and a number of bloodied parts and limbs were recovered along with just a single empty shoe and their high powered hunting rifles and an axe.

He said: “We are of course saddened at any loss of life but these men came to kill our animals and this sends out a powerful message to poachers that you will not always be the winner”.

Rhinos graze in the bush on the edge of Kruger National Park in South Africa. As teams of poachers stalk rhinos and elephants in the park, wildlife officials are turning to nearby communities to help stop the slaughter by using local knowledge to deter poachers, not join them. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)



  1. avatar B says:

    Jungle Justice

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      “Tune in next week, for Law & Order: Jungle Justice”

  2. avatar jwm says:

    You don’t have to be faster than the elephant. Just faster than your buddy.

    1. avatar Jest Sayin says:

      What’s the best gun for elephant defense?
      A 22lr pistol.

      Yep, shoot your buddy in the knee and run like hell…

  3. avatar enuf says:

    A very happy ending!

  4. avatar NORDNEG says:

    All hail the ANIMALS…!!!
    Wildlife 1
    Poachers 0….!

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      Sadly, the poachers have scored in the thousands already.

    2. avatar GridSquare says:

      Seems to me like it was a coordinated strike. Rhino plays the bait, elephant conducts the ambush, lions secure and clean up the kill zone.

      War… war never changes.

      1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

        Thanks…snorted Dr. Pepper through my nose reading your comment!

      2. avatar Just Sayin says:

        Tactical wildlife?

        I would love to know that the possibility exists that there is a Wild Kingdom SWAT team.
        It at least deserves a PIXAR movie.

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “I would love to know that the possibility exists that there is a Wild Kingdom SWAT team.”

          The big cats and hyenas co-ordinate their attacks. Feral dogs that ‘pack up’ do the same thing…

      3. avatar M J Johnson says:

        That made me laugh, heartily.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Tenderized by the elephant and then processed into lion sh!t.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Tenderized by the elephant and then processed into lion sh!t.”

      And *this* is why I read TTAG.

      All hail Ralph, the master of wisecracks!


      1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:


  6. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Good! I despise a poacher. Not matter what animal they pursue.

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:


    2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      From “Don’t tread on me” to “How dare that man shoot one of the King’s animals”. How far the Gadsden Flag has fallen.

      1. avatar Tree Hugger says:

        Good! I despise a poacher. No matter what game they pursue. Feel better?

      2. avatar possum says:

        There’s Two different kinds of poachers. In my books if your doing it for meat, then indeed it’s the ” Kings Game”, if your doing it for horns, then a sound trampling from a herd of lions, then eaten by a flock of possums is a tinge of justice. The Ivory and Horn trade should go beyond just the poacher. Perhaps a hearty fine with imprisionment , oh no wait MCGA, the reason we died in Korea and VN

        1. avatar komradklaus says:

          I’d say it also very much depends on the animal. If you are poor and starving, shooting a goose or pheasant out of season is acceptable (although I’d much rather someone fknate food). Shooting a Great Blue Heron to feed your family is still wrong.

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i’m afraid your sentiments may fall upon deaf ears. many poachers are hard of heron.

  7. avatar Doc Richardson says:

    This is the best news out of that region in years, we have decided to include this information on the next weeks episode of Jungle Justice. It will feature the Rhino, the Elephants and the Mighty Lions, this just in Rafiki from The Lion King will Narrate the events.

  8. avatar EWTHeckman says:

    Stamp out poaching.

    Needs more elephant.

    1. avatar Julio says:

      +1 😎👍🏼

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “Needs more elephant.”

  9. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

    Shame on me for laughing out loud when I read the article…bastard deserved what he got…reminds me of the TV series “Zoo”…animals counting coup on humans.

  10. avatar Michael says:

    Karma, the only sign in this universe that, maybe, just maybe, Somebody (with a rugged sense of humor) is watching. F-K-A

    1. avatar LazrBeam says:

      It’s spelled K-A-R-M-A and it’s pronounced Ha Ha.

  11. avatar Jbw says:

    We could use some elephants in chicago

  12. avatar D Dunbar says:

    I don’t foresee the rhino population being around in 50 years. Unfortunately the quack medicine industry in Asia thinks any engandered animal part keeps impotence at bay and it drives a really disgusting industry which I don’t see reversing anytime soon.

    Great to hear an individual story like this but the overall situation is incredibly depressing. Dude got what he had coming though that’s for sure.

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      Hopefully they survive in the West in zoos until they can be reintroduced. Not holding my breath but they have done pretty decent as a zoo animal.

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      How does this folk medicine continue to exist? There’s a half dozen flavors of boner pills being advertised that have real results, and I can’t see rhino horns or bear gall bladders or whatever having anywhere near the success rate.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Because culture and tradition are powerful things.

        20 years ago, there were more than a few wildlife biologists in universities who were saying “Hoo-ray! The little blue pill is going to save the bear/tiger/elephant/rhino/etc.”

        Chinese people I knew in the Bay Area of California said “Don’t be so sure.”

        Turns out that, as almost always, the academics were wrong.

    3. avatar Mjd says:

      Unfortunately they are not rare in D.C.

  13. avatar How_Terrible says:

    You do stupid things, and you get to collect stupid prizes.

  14. avatar OBOB says:

    What I find funny is treehuggers have killed more rhino than poachers i’d bet
    there is one man who has a HUGE preserve full of DOZENS of them and he harvests the horns like anything else
    he is not allowed by ‘treehuggers’ to sell the TONES of horn he has and he wants to badly, so the market’s bottom falls out! and the price drops to near nothing levels!
    So the poaching goes on even though this one man has TONES of rhino horn laying around!

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I’d love for you to explain how “tree-huggers” have killed more than poachers that kill over a thousand rhinos a year to feed the ridiculous quack medicine trade in Asia.

      1. avatar GTY says:

        Are you serious? It is simple, basic economics. If the environmental fanatics allowed the rhino rancher to flood the market by selling his humanely harvested horn, the price would fall to where it is no longer profitable for the poachers to hunt wild rhino. The mindless prohibition of that is what keeps the price sky-high.

  15. avatar Slim P says:

    What a happy ending
    Now, how about a movie highlighting what losers poachers are

  16. avatar MOUNTAIN MAN says:



    1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

      Well, no, for about a hundred reasons.

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        All caps being the first. It pretty much screams schizotypal author at work.

    2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Mountain Man, I suspect you’re anything but. You sound like a simple minded troll spewing rhetoric that you have been spoon fed by your controller. Save it for the idiots that think like you. They’re the only ones who believe it. Oh, stop shouting.

    3. avatar Jason says:

      Well… most of the people who have hunted in Africa had less than a pocket knife, they fashioned, perhaps a flint knife, then a spear, perhaps a bow and arrow. They have done quite well really, for thousands of years.

      Not everyone lives in their mom’s basement.

    4. avatar JIM says:

      Mountain man, Do you realize how much your hated hunters do for the area they hunt in?
      They pay through the nose to hunt, and most of that money goes into the area they hunt in.
      You should do your homework before having your mouth go like a ducks ass, nonstop and the only thing out of it is shit..
      You really are an idiot, and have no idea of what you speak.

    5. avatar George Washington says:

      I don’t really agree with you MM, but these rude comments from these “educated idiots” doesn’t make anything better….
      I DO agree that there should be NO HUNTING of most of the animals in Africa except maybe the ones that aren’t endangered…
      So to the people who “THINK” (ALL CAPS) they’re smarter than everyone else and they have all the answers… YOU DO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS…. AS A MATTER OF FACT IT’S PEOPLE LIKE YOU WITH CLOSED MINDS THAT FK UP EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE….

  17. avatar Sean G./The Rookie says:

    “A poacher hunting rhinos in the Kruger National Park met a gruesome end after being trampled to death by an elephant and then eaten by a pride of hungry lions.”

    I do so love a happy ending!

  18. Mmmmmmmmmmm, tastes like chicken!!!!!

    1. avatar Just Sayin says:

      Interwebz W I N N E R !!!

  19. avatar GS650G says:

    A,stomping good meal was had by all.

  20. avatar Scott C says:

    Just another case of doing stupid things and winning stupid prizes. Serves these scum right, no remorse for any poacher that gets that ending.

  21. avatar VicRattlehead says:

    Any subhuman slime that would hunt a creature to extintion for something as idiotic as some bogus ‘health benefits’ or, worse yet, for a status symbol, deserves whatever kind of horrific death that may come their way. I have about the same amount of pity for this poacher as I would have for a rapist or a child molester.

  22. avatar Brainman says:

    At $300k per horn, there’s no way poaching will stop.

  23. avatar Dwight L says:

    The dead poacher should be a candidate for a Darwin Award. Too bad the others got away!

  24. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    All human life is more important that an animal’s.

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      Yeah you’re right. But we were given dominion over animals. We’re not supposed to destroy them. I personally like a world where Rhinos are free to run around. I don’t have much sympathy for this guy.

    2. avatar Widdler says:

      “All human life is more important that an animal’s”……If you say so

    3. avatar possum says:

      No it’s not. All life is important. Humans just think their special. One things for certain, humans have done an excellent job of preserving the planet we all live on.

  25. avatar MojoMedicineMan says:

    Love it !
    It’s not nice to fool with “Mother Nature”.
    (70’s tv commercial)
    I hope the poachers were still alive when the lions were gnawing on them.
    “The Elephant Stomp”
    Sounds like a good blues tune title that Howlin Wolf should have come up with. ; )

    1. avatar possum says:

      Hippo Stomp , Steppenwolff work?

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        no less effective, plus ability to bite victim in half.
        one would think the rhino would be interested himself, having skin in the game so to speak.

      2. avatar MojoMedicineMan says:

        “Heavy Hooves Thunder” Sounds good to me. lol
        “Hungry Hungry Hippo’s!”
        70’s or 80’s game?

  26. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Not enough Karma!!

  27. avatar Hoyden says:

    I can think of worse ways to die than elephant stomping, but not many. Like being 1/2 killed by a croc or gator and stuffed under a log to tenderize.

  28. avatar possum says:

    7 mm, head shooting elephants at close range. Bell had balls

  29. avatar Pg2 says:

    The radio morning talk show mentioned this story, and the woman threw religion under the bus by saying the horns were poached for religious reasons. Most wont care, but it’s part of the 24/7 attack on traditional family, religion, and everything non-state approved. Removing guns from the public is just one part of this.

  30. avatar Mott says:

    “We are of course saddened at any loss of life but these men came to kill our animals”….I’m not!

  31. avatar Iron Cat Beast says:

    I read in another report that the poacher’s intact pants were also recovered.

    Whoever makes those britches just got the best marketing angle you could ever ask for.

    1. avatar MojoMedicineMan says:


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