Poachers leave death threats for rangers

2012-12-11 08:40
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Pretoria - Rhino are not the only ones in danger of harm from poachers - rangers in the Kruger National Park are now receiving death threats.

The head of the environmental crime investigation unit at the park, Kenn Maggs, said members of the team frequently found messages targeting specific individuals, reported the Times Live.

Maggs said: “They would leave signs in the sand near the border telling a specific ranger, 'We're coming for you'. We have to adhere to the rule of the land. They don't."

Maggs said his team was fighting a low-intensity war against the poachers who had this year killed 381 rhinos in the Kruger National Park while the total number for the whole of country was 618.

Maggs said at any given time there could be as many as 15 groups of poachers in the park, which is more than 20 000 km² - the same size as Israel.

He believed that many of the poachers had some sort of military training "and belonged to some kind of militia.

"And they know the bush and how to hide their tracks."

Maggs said when a poacher was recently arrested, R5.1m was found in an open trunk in his garage.

The same man had been arrested a month-and-a-half earlier with R3m in his car.

- News24
Read more on:    kruger national park  |  rhino poaching
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