Media Release: Suspected rhino poacher shot in the KNP
Kruger National Park (KNP) Field Rangers shot and injured a suspected rhino poacher whom they arrested yesterday (Monday, June 14, 2010) in the Vlakteplaas, a northern ranger section of the KNP. The incident happened shortly after 08:30 when the Rangers ambushed the suspected rhino poacher who after chopping the rhino horns walked into the Field Rangers’ direction. Two shot female rhino carcasses were discovered on the scene.
Rangers first noticed human tracks on Saturday, 13 June 2010 during their normal patrol, and from that time they continued to follow the tracks until they found this suspected rhino poacher on the morning of June 14, 2010.
During their patrol on the morning of Monday, June 14, 2010, the Field Rangers heard a gunshot, moved towards the direction of the shot and on their way they found a carcass of a white rhino with the horn removed al
ready. A short while thereafter, they heard more gunshots and as they moved towards that direction, this time the shot was much closer to the ranger team. Lying in ambush, the Rangers saw the poacher walking in a distance and remained still until they heard the sound of the axe cutting off the horn. At that point, the rangers moved closer and positioned themselves directly on the path the suspect was likely to take and just when the suspect was finished cutting off the horn from the second rhino and was ready to move away, he walked on to the field rangers’ direction.
The suspected rhino poacher, who was armed, opened fire as soon as he realised that there were rangers around him and the Field Rangers fired back. The suspect was injured on the shoulder, hand and hip. Because the tracks suggested that there were more people in the area after arresting the suspect, the team went to look for more suspects without any success.
The suspected poacher was taken to Malamulele Hospital and is under guard while further investigations continue. “We wish to send a strong warning to other poachers that this is war we are prepared to fight; we cannot allow these heartless and senseless killings of rhino to continue”. “Please stay away from the Park as the Rangers together with the Environmental Crime Investigations will do everything to ensure, that really we mean business in dealing with them this time.” said the KNP’s HOD: Public Relations, Mr William Mabasa. “We would also like to urge the public to report any information that may assist us to stop poachers before they enter the park and this information can be given to the nearest police station.” concluded Mabasa.
Laura Mukwevho, Internal Communication Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4262 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: email@example.com