Poisoned Elephant Kills Lions and Vultures (South Africa)


Sky News

Date Published

Two lions and more than 100 vultures have died after eating a poisoned elephant’s carcass, officials have said.

It is feared the killings in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, indicate a new method of poaching.

The park’s managing executive Glenn Phillips said: “It seems poachers have resorted to wildlife poisoning in the national parks and other protected areas in Southern Africa.”

Investigators said the elephant was shot in the head, its tusks removed and its carcass laced with poison.

Two lions, 110 white-backed vultures and two jackals died after feeding on it.

The remains were found by rangers over the weekend, although it is not known when the animals were poisoned.

Tusks and horns are often smuggled to countries in eastern Asia.

Park spokesman William Mabasa said vultures are of interest to traditional healers or sangomas in South Africa.

The heavily-guarded park was visited by Prince Harry last year during three months spent working on conservation projects and highlighting the threat to elephants and rhinos from poachers.

Animal poisoning is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of an elephant, four lions and 46 vultures at Kruger National Park last year.

In Zimbabwe, more than 370 elephants have died after being poisoned during the past two years, with officials blaming poachers.