News24

Poaching: Kruger takes to the skies

2012-06-06 22:27

Giyani - The Kruger National Park has taken the fight against rhino poaching to the skies.

Managing executive for the park, Abe Sibiya, officially handed over a bantam aircraft in Shingwedzi camp in the north of the park on Tuesday.

He said rangers faced a number of challenges, including the fact that poachers were becoming more sophisticated in their techniques.

"It is important that the park continues to find the latest equipment to strengthen our ability to deal with poachers adequately, no matter how sophisticated they become,” he said.

He said 235 rhino have been poached in the park in the last five months.

“We therefore, collectively as citizens of this country, need to contribute in this fight, to ensure that we uproot this evil,” he said.

South African National Parks' Honorary Rangers have donated advanced equipment such as night vision goggles, thermal binoculars, DSA heavy duty scope mounts, and a variety of other field equipment to the value of R1.3m to boost the fight against poachers.

Head of the Honorary Rangers, John Turner, said the organisation was also planning to buy three additional bantam aircraft for the park over the next three years.

The Honorary Rangers have also donated R100 000 towards the operational costs of the new bantam aircraft that was handed over on Tuesday.

An additional R48 000 was donated by a single Honorary Ranger based in Pretoria, Chris Herbst, to buy fuel for the bantam plane.

Others who wish to contribute in the fight against poaching may call 082 908 3053 or e-mail antipoaching@sanparks.org with tip-offs or information that can help combat poaching.