Poachers also a local problem

2015-10-13 06:00
Some of the hunting dogs that accompanied three porcupine poachers in Wolfgat Nature Reserve in September.  


PHOTO: 
City of Cape Town

Some of the hunting dogs that accompanied three porcupine poachers in Wolfgat Nature Reserve in September. PHOTO: City of Cape Town

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Three poachers have been arrested at the Wolfgat Nature Reserve following swift action from authorities.

On Wednesday 30 September nature conservation staff spotted the men entering the reserve and reported them. The men were accompanied by 18 hunting dogs and were found with a bag of three freshly killed porcupines, which led to their arrest.

The suspects were taken to the Mitchell’s Plain police station. Grassy Park SPCA collected the dogs.

This hunting is prohibited, yet it remains a problem.

“The City is facing a challenge with the illegal hunting of wild animals. There are currently a few groups that hunt with large packs of dogs on the False Bay coastline between the Zandvlei Nature Reserve and Macassar dunes conservation area. Poaching is extremely difficult to police. In this light, this arrest is a significant achievement for nature conservation,” says Johan van der Merwe, mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning.

The main types of animal targeted by poachers there are grysbok and porcupine.

Generally, hunters hunt for meat, but in Cape Town animals are also killed for horns, hooves and organs. Porcupine quills are used extensively in the tourism industry.

“The City condemns illegal hunting for the very straightforward reason that it depletes our already low animal numbers in our natural areas, and devastates the balance of ecosystems.

“We have already noticed that there is almost no browsing occurring in the Macassar dunes and Wolfgat nature reserves, which means that porcupine and small antelope have been removed from this ecosystem. All of the species which are most targeted during hunting are protected.

“The City needs the support of residents so that we can clamp down on illegal hunting to protect our environment for future generations. The City urges communities to report illegal hunting or suspicious activity to their nearest law enforcement or nature conservation office,” he says

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