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Media Release: Knp Rangers Arrest Long Time Adversary

Date: 19th November 2007

Kruger National Park (KNP) rangers and special investigators from South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Investigation Service (CIS) arrested a poacher after a massive six day man-hunt on Sunday November 18, 2007.

Kruger National Park (KNP) rangers and special investigators from South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Investigation Service (CIS) arrested a poacher after a massive six day man-hunt on Sunday November 18, 2007.

“We are overjoyed that our people have been able to arrest this particular poacher, who is often described as having being a real thorn in the KNP’s flesh for many years,” praised the KNP’s Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize.

The man, who has yet to appear in court and therefore cannot be named, was arrested after SANParks CIS heard that he would be back in the park sometime between November 13 and 18, 2007.

A team from CIS Skukuza deployed to the reported area in the Vlakteplaas Ranger Section on Tuesday November 13, 2007 and conducted long range bush patrols for the rest of the week. These specialist law enforcers were joined by Vlakteplaas-based field rangers.

On Sunday, November 18, 2007, the Vlakteplaas Section Ranger Mr Reckson Seani received a telephone call from one of his field rangers, Ms Charmain Nzima to say that they had found fresh spoor of a suspected poacher where they were patrolling.

Ambushes were laid on the poacher’s suspected path and it did not take long until members of the CIS team found the suspect answering the call of nature. A shootout ensued and the suspect was slightly injured.

He was taken into custody and transported to the Saselamani Police Station where he has been arrested on various poaching charges. Police have confiscated two rhino horns, a .458 rifle, a backpack with two Okapi knives, a panga and various other items 

The suspect has been linked to a large number of rhino poaching incidents and has been arrested on a number of occasions during follow-up operations in Mozambique, with that country’s Border Police and rangers from the Limpopo National Park. The last of these incidents took place during October 2007 when a rhino was injured during a poaching operation in the Vlakteplaas Ranger Section.

An intensive search followed which found a freshly killed white rhino and tracks leading across the border into Mozambique. Together with their law enforcement colleagues from that country, KNP rangers and CIS teams tracked the suspects deep into Mozambican territory, eventually arresting the suspect 20 kilometres in Mozambique on Wednesday October 25, 2007. Two rifles and both horns were recovered and the suspect was arrested by the Mozambicans.

“He has now been caught red-handed in South African territory and the full weight of South African anti poaching law can be dealt out to him,” concluded Dr Mkhize.

If you want to become involved in the fight against poaching, look out for the SANParks Honorary Rangers anti-poaching collection tins which are distributed at most of the shops in the KNP. This money is used to purchase much-needed equipment for the KNP Ranger Corps.

There are 22 ranger sections spread over the KNP’s two million hectare area. Each has a section ranger with an average of 10 field rangers who, together with the SANParks CIS special operations teams and aircraft from the SANParks Air Wing, help to protect the wildlife of the KNP.

… Ends


Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: raymondt@sanparks.org

Enquiries:
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communications, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: williamm@sanparks.org

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