Media Release: Six suspected poachers arrested in the Kruger National Park
The South African National Parks (SANParks) today announced two successful operations against rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park (KNP). “We are elated that during one of our toughest weekends weather-wise, we were still able to execute our rhino poaching offensive and emerge victorious,” said Wanda Mkutshulwa, SANParks spokesperson.
She said the first successful operation was carried out on the Friday, 18 January in the Pafuri region of the park… “where the Phalaborwa Special Operations team assisted by the Shingwedzi Rangers arrested two suspected poachers, a .375 high caliber hunting rifle and poaching equipment were recovered.”
According to Mkutshulwa in another operation that took place on Saturday, 19 January in the Tshokwane and Nwanetsi regions of the park, four suspected poachers were also arrested. “Three rhino horns, one firearm and poaching equipment were found in possession of the suspects. Two suspects managed to flee back into Mozambique. Our helicopters provided vital support and we are glad we could arrest these individuals but also disappointed that others got away.”
In a follow up investigation, two rhino carcasses were discovered with their horns removed. “This has not been an ideal start to the year but we are getting our systems in place and it is only a matter of time before we bring the situation under control. This is not going to be easy but we’re very optimistic that our strategies will bring the desired results” concluded Mkutshulwa.
SANParks Media Specialist
Tel: 012 426 5315; cell: 083 673 6974
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
GM: PR, Media and Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 012 426 5203 cell: 073 373 4999
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