The story wasn’t subtle: A poacher attempting to hunt endangered rhinoceroses in South Africa’s Kruger National Park was instead trampled to death by an elephant and eaten by a pride of lions. Rangers alerted by his companions sought to recover his body and eventually found a skull and a pair of pants.
It was a comeuppance made for social media. Poetic justice, the natural order at work, a win for the animals—all were common themes, as they’ve been in other, similar incidents.
“Killing poachers will not stop poaching. Poachers are just the foot soldiers of international criminal syndicates,” said Julian Rademeyer, a project leader for Traffic, which monitors the international trade in wildlife, according to The Associated Press.
“The rage and anger of many people at the rampant poaching that is endangering rhinos and elephants is understandable,” he said. “But the joy and gloating over the death of a poacher is crass and misguided.”
One poacher stopped in his tracks might briefly feel like natural justice. Really, it’s a reminder of the world’s continued failure to do better by its fading species.