Poachers kill animals worth R2m

2011-07-01 14:27

Animals and prawns valued at more than R2 million were killed in the St Lucia area in KwaZulu-Natal in the past two years, a document before the Pietermaritzburg High Court said today.

The dossier, penned by anti-poaching unit leader Pieter Gerber, said 95% of the poachers were commercially driven.

The illegal hunting caused the demise of animal species in parts of the World Heritage Site iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which incorporates St Lucia.

The document forms part of a move by the Asset Forfeiture Unit to seize firearms, a bakkie, and other items belonging to suspected poachers who were arrested in October last year. Red duiker carcasses were found in the vehicle.

The owner of the bakkie, Mdumisenbi Ngema (52), was charged with possession of protected hunted game and illegal hunting on July 26.

He was opposing the seizure of his bakkie.

The forfeiture application was postponed to November.

Among the poached animals listed by Gerber were seven white rhino, one black rhino, two leopards, eight red duiker, two kudu, 60 kilograms of prawns, three waterbuck, three reedbuck and a warthog.

The court heard that the animals were poached for “bush meat”, hides, horns and teeth.

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