Big bucks for rhino poaching tip-offs

2012-12-13 00:00

REWARDS of up to R100 000 have been announced for information leading to the conviction of rhino poachers.

And information on syndicates behind rhino poaching can earn the informer R1 million.

Sanparks CEO Dr David Mabunda announced the hefty rewards in Skukuza yesterday. He said the Kruger National Park had lost the first round in the fight against poachers. Based on past numbers, another 22 rhinos could be poached in the park this year unless drastic action was taken.

Retired Major General Johan Jooste (60), has been appointed commander of the park’s anti-poaching unit. Jooste will co-ordinate the unit’s game rangers, police officers, soldiers and air force members.

Mabunda said 383 rhinos had been killed for their horns in Kruger so far this year and the park had stepped up the fight against poachers by going airborne and using hi-tech equipment.

A Seeker II probe is already watching the skies and two donated Aérostatiale Gazelle helicopters, donated by the British Army, would be deployed in March. Sensors would be used in the veld to monitor human movement.

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