Media Release: SANParks declares war on poachers
23 July 2009
Kruger National Park – The Chief Executive of South African National Parks (SANParks), Dr David Mabunda, announced today that SANParks will be using R2 million from the Parks Development Fund (PDF) to increase the number of rangers in the KNP.
Speaking at an information session with members of the media in Skukuza, Dr Mabunda said: “The funds will be used to employ 57 more rangers and will also contribute to increasing the number of motorbikes for the rangers, purchasing a state of the art Crime Information Management System all of which will increase visibility on the ground and improve our anti-poaching efforts.”
SANParks announced that to date the KNP has lost 26 white rhino and one black rhino since the beginning of the year to poaching, while approximately 10.3kg worth of horns in storage in Addo Elephant National Park were stolen in a violent armed robbery in July this year.
Dr Mabunda welcomed the decision by the South African government to return the military to patrol the 450km national border on the eastern boundary of the KNP as the exit of the military 3 years ago had created even more pressure on the work of the rangers.
The Chief Executive was addressing media at a meeting that was originally planned for discussions with Animal Rights Africa (ARA) which the latter unfortunately did not attend.
Top management and scientists were present to respond to questions on rhino population management and recent poaching and anti-poaching activities in national parks.
Dr Mabunda re-iterated that SANParks is selling rhinos for population and meta-population management, but as these are state assets, they cannot be given for free to private individuals and it is good that such funds will be used to assist with anti-poaching measures.
“Poachers must beware, because we will seek them out, we will find them and they will be dealt with. This is a war that we plan on winning,” warned Dr. Mabunda.
SANParks Corporate Communications on behalf of the Chief Executive of SANParks
wanda mkutshulwa, Head of Communications, South African National Parks, Tel: (012) 426 5201, Cell: 082 908 2692 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reynold "Rey" Thakhuli , GM: PR and Media Relations, South Africa National Parks, Tell: (012) 426 5203, Cell: 083 552 2020, ReyT@sanparks.org