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Media Release: KNP Team Arrest Poaching Syndicate

Date: 27th March 2008

The Kruger National Park (KNP) Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize today praised the quick reaction of a Kruger National Park (KNP) anti-poaching team which arrested three suspected rhino poachers and confiscated two rifles and four freshly harvested rhino horns earlier this week.

The Kruger National Park (KNP) Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize today praised the quick reaction of a Kruger National Park (KNP) anti-poaching team which arrested three suspected rhino poachers and confiscated two rifles and four freshly harvested rhino horns earlier this week.

“We are proud of the combined team made up of Tshokwane Rangers, SANParks Corporate Investigation Services (CIS) and SANParks Air Services who all contributed to the successful arrest of these poachers,” he said.

A routine ranger patrol from Tshokwane found suspicious tracks while patrolling an area to the South East of the well-known picnic site on Saturday March 22, 2008. Shortly after the rangers found the tracks, gunfire was heard and the field rangers reported this.

Shortly after this discovery was made, a team from CIS flew into the area by helicopter and, combined with the Tshokwane rangers, this team quickly found the poachers, which lead to the arrest. The carcasses of two white rhino cows were pointed out by the suspects and further investigation showed that these animals had been shot earlier that day.

Footprints in the area suggested the presence of a calf, the carcass of which was found on Sunday March 23, 2008. The calf had been killed by lions.

“We believe that this is truly a despicable act and hope for a speedy trial where we trust that justice will prevail,” concluded Dr Mkhize.

All three suspects are currently being held at Skukuza Police Station.

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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