“It has been a successful weekend in the fight to keep our rhinos alive in the park. We are delighted with our anti-poaching teams who were able to arrest suspects before any animal was killed,” Gareth Coleman, the Managing Executive of the KNP,” said in a statement.“The actions are a morale booster for our anti-poaching teams and conservation efforts.”
On Saturday, SANParks Rangers,supported by Airwing, and K9 units, apprehended one alleged poacher and recovered poaching equipment including a rifle and an axe. The second suspect was trampled to death by a herd of elephants. The third, who reportedly sustained an eye injury, managed to escape.
Sunday, after detecting another incursion on a routine patrol, the Rangers tracked spoor until they made contact with a group of three suspected poachers who were subsequently arrested in the Pretoriuskop Section of the Park. A high-calibre hunting rifle, poaching equipment, and ammunition were also recovered.
“We hope the arrests send a strong message to poachers that we are determined to stop them in their tracks within the Park. SANParks is committed to working harder with law enforcement agencies and communities outside the Park to intensify efforts to crack the criminal syndicates driving these crimes.
“Only through discipline, teamwork, and tenacity will we be able to help stem the tide of rhino poaching in KNP.
“The campaign against poaching is the responsibility of us all; it threatens many livelihoods, destroys families, and takes much-needed resources to fight crime which could otherwise be used for creating jobs and development,” concluded Coleman.
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg