Travel

Kruger rangers snag 8 rhino poachers in one day

Traveller24

Cape Town - South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced the arrest of 8 suspected rhino poachers in the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Wednesday.

Since the start of 2015 a total of 223 suspected poachers have been arrested in the country, of which 129 were arrested in the Kruger National Park.

SANParks said the first incident took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning while rangers conducting anti-poaching operations along the Crocodile River – south of the Park.

SEE: Winners of the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2015

“The rangers encountered three suspected poachers; a shoot-out ensued during which one poacher was wounded.”

All three suspects were arrested. Two hunting rifles, silencers, ammunition and other poaching equipment were confiscated.

In a follow-up investigation later in the same day outside the park a further five suspects were arrested in a joint operation between SANParks Rangers and the SAPS.

The suspects are due to appear in court soon and the charges are being formulated.

This brings to 8 the number of arrests in the last 24 hours.

READ: 9 Bush salutes to game rangers on #WorldRangerDay

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, has welcomed the arrests saying, “Just a week after commemorating World Ranger Day I want to again commend our rangers for their hard work together with other law enforcement units including the South African Police Service (SAPS).”

Since the start of 2015 a total of 223 suspected poachers have been arrested in the country, of which 129 were arrested in the Kruger National Park.

Molewa said the arrests were “a clear indication that resilience and dedication pays off”and that the department was grateful that no lives were lost. 

SANParks and the South African conservation fraternity continues to request the support and cooperation of all members of society in identifying and reporting suspicious behaviour that could lead to the arrest of suspected poachers.

Tourists can report any incidents they spot in the park on the SANParks Emergency Call Centre numbers 013 735 5516 / 076 801 9679. 

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