Ranger shot by poachers still in ICU

(File, AFP)
(File, AFP)

Johannesburg - A ranger shot and wounded during an operation to apprehend suspected poachers in the Kruger National Park was in a stable condition in hospital on Monday, SA National Parks (SANParks) said.

"He is in a stable condition, but he is still in the ICU [Intensive Care Unit]," said spokesperson William Mabasa.

Ranger Andrew Desmet was shot in the stomach during a joint operation between SANParks and the SA National Defence Force on Friday night.

He was airlifted to a medical facility in Mbombela where he underwent an operation.

On Saturday, another spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli, said after this incident another group of rangers made contact with a second group of armed poachers and a shoot-out ensued.

Thakhuli said the poachers managed to escape into the bush and no arrests were made.

A .458 heavy calibre rifle and other poaching equipment were recovered at the scene.

SANParks chief executive David Mabunda extended his well-wishes to Desmet on behalf of all park staff.

"Andrew is a long-serving member of our ranger corps. We have always said it is a war out there, and we wish once again to thank Andrew and all our rangers who are in the front-line of the battle."

He thanked all those who played a role in getting Desmet to safety and wished him a speedy recovery.

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