Human remains found near site where ranger went missing in Kruger National Park

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  • Human remains have been discovered in the Kruger National Park.
  • Field ranger, Checkers Mashego went missing in the national reserve in Mpumalanga.
  • The remains were found near equipment that Mashego would have used as a field ranger.

Human remains, believed to be that of a missing field ranger, have been discovered in the Kruger National Park (KNP).

The discovery was made on Thursday afternoon by a search party who were looking for field ranger, Checkers Mashego.

He went missing in the Stolsnek Section of the KNP in Mpumalanga during the evening of 17 November.

Items as well as South African National Parks (SANParks) equipment used by Mashego were also found near the remains.

"The area of the find has been cordoned off and is currently being searched thoroughly," SANParks said.

Police confirmed that the remains were found not far from where the 51-year-old field ranger was last seen by his fellow colleagues a month ago.

It is not yet clear what caused his death, but police forensics and the SANParks Environmental Investigative Unit are combing the scene for any further clues that might shed light on what could have transpired.

Police have also collected the remains which have been sent for DNA tests to ascertain if they are that of Mashego, police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said.

Police have, however, said it’s believed that the remains are those of Mashego given that they were found near equipment that he would have used.

"A probe on what has actually transpired is in progress to reveal details about how the victim disappeared," Mdhluli said.

Meanwhile, SANParks have informed the family of Mashego about the discovery.

Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy and the Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, Fundisile Mketeni, have expressed their concern for, and support to the family, in this difficult time.

"We can assure the public that we will do everything in our power to support the South African Police Services in their investigation to try and understand what has transpired, and to assist the Mashego family to get closure," they said in a joint statement.

SANParks also appealed to those who might have information or knowledge regarding Mashego disappearance to contact the police.

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