South African National Parks (SANParks) announced the poaching related fatal shooting of a field Ranger in Kruger National Park on Thursday, Lowvelder reports.
According to reports, the field ranger and his colleagues made contact with a poaching group that they had been tracking together with the K9 unit. It appears that, as they approached the group, shots were exchanged and the ranger was seriously injured in the upper body.
A doctor was flown in to stabilise him, but he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries en route to the hospital.
Reacting to the news, CEO of SANParks Fundisile Mketeni expressed his condolences. “We would like to express our sincerest condolences to his immediate family, colleagues and associates.
“Our prayers are with them during this difficult period. It is never easy to cope with losing a loved one, especially in this manner. We have lost a patriot who died on duty protecting South African assets and who was well trained to defend himself, hence our shock on learning of this incident. We will draw strength from his contribution to the anti-poaching campaign and as his colleagues, we are going to continue where he left off in honour of his memory. Our immediate concern now is to support the family with their needs. We are extremely saddened by this incident,” concluded Mketeni.
The name of the deceased cannot be released at this time as his next of kin have not been informed of his passing, and his colleagues are receiving trauma counselling.
SAPS is currently conducting further investigations.