News24

Chopper drops 4 rhino poachers

2010-08-31 22:42

Johannesburg - A helicopter with a covered registration reportedly dropped off four suspected rhino poachers in the Roedtan area in Limpopo on Tuesday.

André Snyman of the crime fighting initiative eBlockwatch said the red-and-white helicopter circled over various game farms in the area.

It was seen over the Morgenson farm in particular.

According to Snyman, the helicopter landed at some stage and dropped off four suspects.

A rhino cow was shot dead and her horns sawn off in the area about two weeks ago.

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) met with farmers in the Roedtan area on Friday to establish a network to catch rhino poachers.

Farmers and trackers fine-combed the area on Tuesday.

During the EWT meeting, farmers and owners of game farms said they have a huge problem with helicopters flying over their farms in search of rhinos. Such helicopters have also been spotted in the Thabazimbi area.

Riaan de Jager of Limpopo's department of environmental affairs said they are working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority to catch the guilty parties.

Faan Coetzee of the EWT said the poaching syndicates use GPS devices to determine where on the farms the rhinos are.

Five suspected poachers were arrested in the Lephalale (Ellisras) area at the weekend.

They were caught after a large-scale search operation by farmers, police and trackers. The four men and a woman will appear in the Lephalale magistrate's court again on Monday.