Poachers kill, mutilate Bisley animals

2017-10-23 13:57
Gail Gayer holds up a coil of wire found wrapped around trees near the mutilated giraffe in Bisley Nature Reserve on Wednesday.

Gail Gayer holds up a coil of wire found wrapped around trees near the mutilated giraffe in Bisley Nature Reserve on Wednesday. (Ian Carbutt)

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City residents enjoying a hike in the Bisley Nature Reserve have stumbled across five animals — including a giraffe — killed by poachers.

Gail Gayer, a member of the Pietermaritzburg Ramblers hiking club, said she and her club members hike at the Bisley Nature Reserve every other Wednesday.

“Last Wednesday we came across five different animal carcasses. Some of them were quite fresh because you could see that there was still blood running out of the bodies and some were decaying. It was all very disturbing to see,” she said.

Gayer said the carcasses were giraffe, wildebeest and bushbuck.

“It’s quite disturbing that we saw so many carcasses in one walk because we usually hike there and we don’t see anything.

“Five dead bodies is a lot,” she said.

Gayer said they saw dog footprints near the carcasses, which makes them suspect that someone might have been using dogs to hunt the animals and poach them.

She said they also came across wires tied on trees that could have been used to trap, strangle and kill giraffes. Gayer and her hiking buddies removed the wires.

“The one giraffe’s head and neck had been cut off and are missing, the front legs and its tail are also missing.

“The bushbuck has what looks like bullet holes on its body. All this was sickening for all of us and we were all very disturbed by this,” said Gayer.

She said she has been hiking in the area since 2013 and has noticed that the wild animals in the reserve have decreased and there are never maintenance workers patrolling the area.

When The Witness went to the nature reserve on Friday, the carcasses of the animals were still lying where the hikers had last seen them. Gayer added the Ramblers were worried that soon there would be no animals left in Bisley and suggested relocating all the animals to save them from poachers and rather turning the area into a conservancy.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the reserve was managed by the municipality and that they would be investigating the matter.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  poaching

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