Suspected rhino poacher shot dead

2014-05-16 00:00

A SUSPECTED rhino poacher was shot dead in the uMkhuze section of iSimangaliso Wetland Park on Wednesday after rangers responded to the noise of a gunshot.

According to a statement issued yesterday, field rangers who responded to the sound of gunfire on the western boundary encountered three suspected rhino poachers, one of whom was armed.

The three were in the park heading towards a 1,8 m electrified “big five” game fence.

“One poacher was wounded and apprehended in the contact with field rangers,” a spokesperson said.

He died later.

Police were called to the scene and the search for the other two suspects continued late into the night.

A loaded .375 weapon with a silencer and an axe (which is often the instrument of choice used to hack off rhino horns) were confiscated at the scene.

“This brave work undertaken by Ezemvelo rangers in a life-threatening situation seems to have paid off.

“While the axe will still undergo forensics, visually it seems to not have fresh blood on it. Early this morning [yesterday] aerial and foot patrols revealed no carcasses in the area,” iSimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis said.

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