Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender was unwilling to state on the record that the mauled remains belonged to wildlife poachers, as the evidence must still be reviewed.
She said: “On Wednesday morning, investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains which were taken by the department of health for forensic testing.”
“The identity of the [persons] remains unknown. The firearm has been taken by police and will be sent to the ballistics laboratory to establish if it has been used in any other poaching or crimes.”
On the whole, the ecologically rich nation appears committed to increasingly thorough anti-poaching measures, including the use of drones, trained dogs, and high-tech radar surveillance systems. A government press release from earlier this year stated that 502 alleged poachers were arrested in 2017, though data on the number of convictions is currently unavailable.
In this case, however, it appears that the rhino’s savannah neighbors, the lions, stepped up as judge, jury, and executioner – a role they seem well-suited for. Back in February, a pride of lions living adjacent to the famed Kruger National Park mauled a suspected rifle-armed poacher, quickly devouring most of his body but leaving the head.