Mutilated rhino put down, poacher held

2013-04-03 16:32
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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Johannesburg - A rhino cow has been put down in the Kruger National Park after being found mutilated, the department of environmental affairs said on Wednesday.

"The animal was bleeding profusely from having its horns, entire mouth, tongue, nose, and eyes hacked off, and had to be euthanised," spokesperson Albi Modise said in a statement.

The rhino was shot on Sunday.

"On Sunday, SANParks rangers heard two shots and reacted with the support of the SANParks helicopter. During a brief contact, one armed suspected poacher was arrested."

Rangers also recovered a .375 rifle and silencer. The cow was found near the scene.

The search was still on for the poacher's accomplice.

A total of 203 rhino have been poached in South Africa this year. Of these, 146 have been killed in the Kruger National Park.

Modise said a second poaching incident had taken place on Sunday in a different area of the park.

Two suspected poachers had died in a shoot-out.

"In the shoot-outs that ensued with poachers, one alleged poacher was fatally wounded on Sunday, while another was believed to have committed suicide on Monday after he was surrounded by members of the ranger corps," Modise said.

Park rangers had recorded 56 incursions by poachers between 21 March and 1 April this year.

Modise said 60 suspected poachers had been arrested since January; of these, 36 were caught in the park.

Read more on:    sanparks  |  mbombela  |  conservation  |  rhino poaching

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