Three Poachers Have Been Arrested For The Brutal Killing Of Four Rhinos For Their Horns In Kruger National Park

South African National Parks (SANParks) confirmed that on the morning of July 1st, a tourist reported to the Malelane Ranger station in Kruger National Park of hearing two gunshots when on the road between Malelane and Skukuza. The location was north of Afsaal. In response, a helicopter, K9, and rangers were immediately dispatched to investigate the report. The helicopter flew over the area and located one fresh rhino carcass and an injured rhino lying next to the carcass. Further investigations revealed a further two rhino carcasses in the immediate area.

A helicopter deployed Rangers and a K9 to locate the tracks exiting from the scene. The Rangers and K9 continued to follow the outgoing tracks for a few kilometres, after which free-running hounds were released to continue searching for poachers. The hounds indicated a specific area where three suspects were found and arrested. The suspects are all from Mozambique and were in the country illegally. They were found in possession of a high calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, horns from three rhinos, cell phones, and other poaching equipment.

The three poachers will face charges related to the incident in due course once South African Police Services have finalized their investigation. This includes establishing whether the alleged offenders have been involved in other similar crimes.

KNP’s Managing Executive, Gareth Coleman congratulated all the anti-poaching teams on the success thanking the actions of the tourist for “being our ears and eyes is very important in this difficult anti-poaching campaign.”

“The KNP is vast and Rangers cannot be everywhere, therefore it is crucial for anyone who notices anything suspicious to report it immediately to assist the Rangers in reacting swiftly. It is critical that such activities are reported directly to SANParks Ranger Services or management rather than reporting on social media,” concluded Coleman.

Sadly, the injured rhino had to be put down due to the serious bullet injuries it sustained.

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