Over 90 people arrested for rhino poaching in 2013

By Drum Digital
08 May 2013

Ninety-four people have been arrested for rhino poaching and smuggling rhino horn since the start of 2013, the environmental affairs department said on Wednesday.

"As of January, 44 alleged poachers have been arrested in the Kruger National Park, 20 in Limpopo, 13 in KwaZulu-Natal, eight in North West, six in Mpumalanga, and three in Gauteng," department spokesman Albi Modise said in a statement.

There had been a considerable increase in arrests in the past week, with 11 poachers taken into custody in the eastern half of the country.

"The arrests came as the number of rhino poached since the beginning of the year increased to 292."

The Kruger National Park continued to be the worst hit, with the number of rhino poached there since January increasing to 216.

In North West, 23 rhino had been poached, 20 in KwaZulu-Natal, 19 in Limpopo, and 14 in Mpumalanga.

Modise said according to SA National Parks (SANParks), those arrested included five suspected poachers en route to Timbavati Private Game Reserve.

They had been under surveillance for almost a month and were found in possession of a hunting rifle, ammunition, and poaching equipment last Wednesday.

On the same day, three suspected poachers were arrested in the Giyani area following an operation between SANParks and police. A hunting rifle and ammunition were recovered.

Modise urged South Africans to report poaching.

-by Sapa

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