First Kruger elephant poached in ten years

2014-05-16 08:23

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Cape Town - The South African National Parks (SANParks) has said the first confirmed elephant poaching incident has taken place in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in well over ten years.

SANoarks announced the incident on its website, stating it occurred in the Pafuri region, in the northern part of the KNP.

According to SANParks Rangers Corp Officer Commanding, Major General (Ret) Johan Jooste, forensic evidence suggests that this elephant bull was purposefully shot for its tusks, which were hacked off and carried away by suspected poachers.

He said Rangers patrolling the area noticed footprints of approximately four individuals leading towards Mozambique leaving the park. “Upon further investigations, which involved backtracking, the rangers on patrol came upon the elephant carcass.”

Jooste said ballistic evidence found at the scene confirmed that the animal was shot. Investigations are currently underway.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Abe Sibiya, said that given the situation in the rest of the continent in relation to rampant poaching of elephants, we have known that it was a matter of time before South Africa got targeted as well. Though our focus has been largely on curbing rhino poaching we have also been preparing ourselves to fight the poaching of elephants as well.

“We are saddened by this latest incident but are confident that the dedication and efforts of our rangers and our partners in the security sector will eventually prevail over this malady”, said Sibiya.

Earlier in the year tourists spotted a rhino with a badly mutilated face roaming around the Kruger Park after poachers had dehorned the animal and left it alive.

SANParks eventually found the animal in a bad condition in the Phabeni section of the Kruger Nationa and had to put it down.

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Read more on:    national parks  |  travel south africa  |  bush

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