Army looks at remote-control chopper to catch poachers

2010-11-25 14:36

The SA National Defence Force is considering using an unmanned drone helicopter to “target” rhino poachers, Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said today.

She told a press conference in Pretoria she wanted state weapons company Denel to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) it was working on so it could be used to help SA National Parks catch rhino poachers.

“The issue of rhinos is one we recognise as particularly brutal, and we have committed ourselves to Sanparks in dealing with this matter.

“We also want to take advantage of the fact that Denel has a particular UAV that is able to assist us,” she said.

Sisulu described the UAV as “like a model helicopter that your eight-year-old sons use”.

It was unmanned and able to take photos.

“They say it is so good it is able to detect the colour of the shirt of the poacher.

“In the long term we can build on it. We want to develop it to the point where we can target the poacher.

“Initially we might just paint him red and arrest him, but as time goes on we will take more drastic measures,” she said, but did not elaborate on what these measures might be.

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