Porcupine hunters nabbed in nature reserve

2015-10-07 16:07
(Picture: City of Cape Town)

(Picture: City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town - Three suspected porcupine hunters have been arrested after being caught red-handed at the Wolfgat Nature Reserve in Mitchells Plain.

The City of Cape Town in a statement said the men were accompanied by 18 hunting dogs and were found with three dead porcupines in their possession.

The hunting of these rodents is prohibited in terms of the Nature and Environmental Conservation Ordinance and the National Environmental Management Act on Protected Areas and Nature Reserves.

Mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and special planning, Johan van der Merwe, said the City was facing a challenge with the illegal hunting of wild animals.

"There are currently a few groups that hunt with large packs of dogs on the False Bay coastline between the Zandvlei Nature Reserve and Macassar Dunes Conservation Area," he said.

Poaching difficult to police

"Poaching is extremely difficult to police and perpetrators are difficult to apprehend as they hunt at all times of day and during all weather conditions."

Grysbok and porcupines are mostly targeted and generally hunters hunt for meat, but in Cape Town animals are also killed for horns, hooves and organs.

Porcupine quills are used extensively in the tourism industry, the City said.

"The City, in no uncertain terms, condemns illegal hunting for the very straightforward reason that it depletes our already low animal numbers in our natural areas, and devastates the balance of ecosystems," Van der Merwe said.

"We have already noticed that there is almost no browsing occurring in the Macassar Dunes and Wolfgat Nature Reserves, which means that porcupine and small antelope have been removed from this ecosystem."

All of the species which are most targeted during hunting are protected, he added.

"Although they are not globally threatened with extinction, these species may become locally extinct if habitat destruction and hunting continue, thereby cruelly denying our youth of the opportunity to study and engage with these creatures."

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime  |  animals

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