Two caught poaching bushbuck

2014-09-27 00:00

TWO men were arrested by the Shongweni K9 unit this week after being caught red-handed poaching bushbuck in Hillcrest.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said members of the unit were driving along Kassier Road in the Hillcrest area around 2.30 pm when they spotted a bushbuck grazing on the side of the road.

“There was a man taking pictures of the bushbuck and the members did not think anything of it,” said Zwane. They returned to find another vehicle parked near the photographer’s vehicle.

“They stopped and went into the bushes, finding the bushbuck had been shot dead and that there were other bushbuck around,” he added.

Members of the unit arrested the two suspects and recovered a .303 rifle with a sniper scope.

“Sipho (45) and Bongumusa Linda (31) appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court,” said Zwane.

“They are sending out spotters who take pictures of the animals and send them to a team of poachers who come out to shoot the animals,” he added.

Steven King, communications officer of the Hillcrest Community Policing Forum, said the incident was a first after a long time considering the number of bushbuck in the area. “We are hoping that from now the community comes forward and will keep an eye out for people like this especially with the amount of bushbuck in the area,” he said.

“You know you hear about rhino poaching all the time, but now these small animals are being targeted.”

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife were also on scene. Spokesperson Musa Mthambo said Ezemvelo deplores any form of poaching.

• raisa.soodyal@witness.co.za

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