South Africa 7.10.2014 04:54 pm

Six suspected rhino poachers arrested

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

Six suspected rhino poachers were arrested in the Kruger National Park on Tuesday, SA National Parks said.

The first arrest took place in Kingfisherspruit when patrolling rangers saw three suspected poachers, spokesman Reynold Thakhuli said.

“They called for support and the SAPS helicopter was despatched as well as the special operations unit of the SANParks rangers corps,” he said in a statement.

“Three suspects were apprehended and found to be in possession of a .458 rifle, ammunition, and an axe.”

Rangers in the park’s Crocodile Bridge section followed the tracks of three suspected poachers and called for helicopter backup. Three men were arrested and found in possession of a .375 hunting rifle, ammunition, and an axe.

“The park has been under tremendous pressure from illegal hunters and has already lost over 500 of these magnificent animals to poachers this year alone,” Thakhuli said.

SANParks commanding officer Johan Jooste welcomed the arrests.

“Every individual we arrest, and all the weaponry we confiscate from the suspects, gives us more energy and hope that one day, we will be able to contain and start rolling back this onslaught,” Jooste said.

So far this year, more than 730 rhino have been killed for their horns by poachers in South Africa, most of them in the Kruger National Park.

Over 1000 were killed last year.

Sapa

 

today in print