Suspected rhino poacher shot dead

2013-08-23 00:00

A SUSPECTED rhino poacher was shot dead by rangers at the Tembe Elephant Park near the Mozambican border this week.

The poacher was injured during a shootout with the rangers inside the park near Ezemvelo’s Muzi Outpost on Tuesday. His body was discovered yesterday by rangers who had been searching for him.

On Tuesday, two field rangers were on foot patrol when they found themselves under fire from a group of about four or five heavily armed poachers. The rangers took cover and returned fire. The poachers retreated and vanished through the thick sand forest.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said it was initially thought that the rangers might have shot and wounded one poacher who then dropped his 458 rifle with five rounds of ammunition and a suppressor.

He said recently, Tembe Elephant Park has seen an increase in the number of poaching incidents. Ten rhino have been poached in the park this year and the number of rhino poached in the province has risen to 60 following the discovery of two white rhino carcasses in uMkhuze community hunting area on Monday last week.

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