Guilty: Mpushini poachers likely to face stiff fines

2009-06-30 00:00

THE five poachers who were caught last Sunday at the Lower Mpushini Valley Conservancy in Ashburton are likely to face stiff fines and to lose all the equipment they had in their possession, including the bakkie they were travelling in, after they pleaded guilty to charges of hun­ting without a licence.

The poachers, who allegedly kill the animals because they make good biltong, were caught with an nyala that they had just killed. They are alleged to have terrorised the conservancy, and decimated the nyala population.

Stuart Knight, one of the community members instrumental in catching the poachers, said that in the last month, at least six nyalas had been killed.

“Since their arrest last week, the area has been very quiet and we have had no incidents. We suspect that these guys were the main poachers.”

However, he said the community there would remain vigilant.

Knight said further incidents of poaching at the conservancy cannot be ruled out because it is still possible that some people might ‘try their luck’.

He warned, however, that any poachers caught in the conservancy can expect a “huge fight”.

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