An elephant trampled a suspected poacher to death as the man tried to shoot the gigantic beast. The incident happened in Zimbabwe, where rangers found the bloodied remains of Solomon Manjoro.
Manjoro was thought to be on a poaching trip at the protected Charara safari area inside a national park. The local man was apparently charged by the elephant after he entered the game reserve for an illegal hunting trip.
The dead man had an accomplice in the botched poaching trip, 29-year-old Noluck Tarfuruka, whose first name, sadly, appeared to be perfect for the trip's outcome. It is believed that Manjoro and Tafuruka came into contact with the elephant after they entered the reserve at the end of April.
The pair were allegedly carrying unlicensed weapons when they faced the massive jungle animal and attempted to shoot it. Unfortunately, their plan was not perfect. Manjoro was killed when the animal failed to fall. Instead, it charged towards him. Tafuruka was later arrested by local police inside the Charara reserve.
A third man, Godfrey Shonge, was also arrested in connection with the poacher trampled to death by an elephant. Shonge and Tarfuruka appeared in court last week to face charges of contravention of local wildlife laws, as well as illegal possession of firearms.
Elephants are often targeted for poaching because of their ivory tusks. While ivory sales were banned in 1989, a black market trade in the animals' tusks continues to flourish. Often, poachers will kill the animals, cut their tusks off, and leave the carcass behind. Sometimes, they will even cut the tusks off of a still-living animal.
Africa's elephant population was estimated at between five million and 10 million before European hunters colonized the continent. Since then, massive poaching for the ivory trade left about 600,000 African elephants remaining.
It is likely the elephant who trampled the suspected poacher to death was being targeted for its ivory tusks.
[Image via ShutterStock]