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Two lions, more than 100 vultures die of poisoning at Kruger National Park

Two lions, more than 100 vultures die of poisoning at Kruger National Park

South Africa

Two lions and about 100 vultures have died at the Kruger National Park in South Africa, after feeding on a poisoned elephant carcass.

Officials say this is a new poaching trend in the heavily-guarded reserve.

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

The remains were found by rangers over the weekend and the park’s tweeter handle said they were poisoned on February 27.

According to investigators, the elephant was shot in the head. Its tusks were then removed and its carcass laced with poison.

The tusks and horns are often smuggled to countries in eastern Asia while vultures are of interest to sangomas (traditional healers) in the country.

Last year, an elephant, four lions and 46 vultures died at the park in what is believed to have been food poisoning.

Wildlife poisoning has occurred at a lower level in South Africa compared to neighbouring Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

More than 370 elephants have died in Zimbabwe due to poaching over the past two years.

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