Cape Town - Following the most recent deaths of two suspected poachers in Kruger National Park (KNP), partly through the assistance of KNP visitors, the park has urged tourists in the area be aware of the necessary steps they need to take when suspecting poaching in the park.
KNP Managing Executive, Glenn Phillips expressed appreciation for the assistance of the visitors in reporting the a heavily armed suspect on Wednesday, 13 January, and encouraged members of the public to report any suspicious individual seen in the Park to the nearest camp or to alert emergency services in the park.
The KNP’s emergency numbers are:
013 735 0197
076 801 9679
The suspects were killed after tourists walking in the Napi section of the park reported a suspicious man wearing a black shirt armed with what looked like a heavy calibre hunting rifle.
On the official SANParks Kruger National Park Facebook page, group members expressed no sympathy for the deceased.
Diane Anderson commented saying, "Good riddance. I have NO sympathy, they got what they deserved. Good on the tourists that reported this!"
Jacques Neizel also wrote, "Well done guys. Awareness is so important. Those visitors may have saved a few rhino. Kill all the poachers."
Coleen Burnham said, "I have zero support for any poacher. If you want to gun down innocent animals, then I wish the same fate for you."
According to Phillips, after at least two sets of visitors informed the authorities about the suspect, a helicopter with the assistance of the K9 Specialised dog unit was deployed to attend to the matter.
HAVE YOU READ: South Africa's K9 Killer receives highest PDSA honour for saving rhino
Phillips said in the subsequent search by Rangers it appeared that the man was not alone, as he was found with a second suspect in the bush. “As the Rangers ordered the men to surrender they opened fire and a shoot-out ensued with Rangers, in which both suspects were killed, and a high calibre hunting rifle was recovered.”
It was not immediately clear whether any animals had been killed or whether there were more suspects inside the park, the KNP's Reynold Thakuli said. The SA Police Service was investigating and monitoring the area.
HAVE YOU READ: Public urged to report illegal poaching in Cape's nature reserves
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