5 suspected rhino poachers arrested

2012-02-15 08:05
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Limpopo rhino poaching

A heavily pregnant rhino cow and a two-year-old calf were killed by poachers on a game farm near Tzaneen in Limpopo. WARNING: The following images are of a graphic nature.

Johannesburg - Five suspected rhino poachers will appear in the Brits Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, North West police said.

The men, aged between 43 and 59, were arrested on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation, Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

"I am reluctant to even say where they were arrested because it might compromise future operations."

The Star reported on Wednesday that the suspected poachers had been involved in a shoot-out with police in an area known to hold rhinos. They were arrested and a .458-calibre rifle and 14 rounds of ammunition seized.

SA National Parks said on Tuesday that 52 rhinos had been killed this year. The hardest hit areas continued to be the Kruger National Park and Limpopo with 26 and 13 rhinos poached there respectively.

SANParks CEO David Mabunda said conservation agencies and the police were seeing increasing co-operation from the public.

"The difficulty is pinning a suspected criminal to the actual crime because we are dealing with very wily and sophisticated individuals."

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