Two poachers killed in iMfolozi Park

2014-05-06 00:00

THE anti-poaching unit at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park shot and killed two poachers this weekend.

The poachers had shot and killed a white rhino at Manzimnyama (near Memorial Gate) but Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s field staff heard the shots and confronted them. One poacher was killed instantly, while the second was wounded and later died.

This was one of three poaching incidents over the past four days. An axe, a .375 rifle and two white rhino horns were found in their possession.

The total number of rhino poached in KZN this year has risen to 33 (29 white rhino and four black rhino). Twenty-eight arrests have been made and 20 firearms have been recovered.

Cedric Coetzee, Ezemvelo’s rhino security manager, said while the level of poaching was “undoubtedly” escalating with three rhino carcasses having been found over the past weeks, Ezemvelo’s new joint operations with the SAPS was proving “highly effective”.

“I have absolutely no doubt that since the amounts being paid to these poachers has increased, so the number of incursions has escalated. But in collaboration with the SAPS, we are meeting them head on. We will not be standing back; not for one moment.

“What’s important is the accuracy of our intelligence. We are increasingly identifying the syndicates associated with rhino poaching. We are on to them – and they should know that,” said Coetzee.

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