Eighteen suspected rhino poachers were arrested and 10 firearms recovered in the past seven days during counter poaching operations inside the Kruger National Park.
PRETORIA – Eighteen suspected rhino poachers were arrested and 10 firearms recovered in the past seven days during counter-poaching operations in the Kruger National Park (KNP), according to the South African National Parks (SANParks).
“A further seven suspected rhino poachers were arrested along with the recovery of a further two firearms just outside the KNP in joint SANParks ECI [environmental crime investigation department] and SAPS [South African Police Service] operations,” SANParks said in a statement.
The rhino poaching-related arrests took place in different sections of the KNP as well as areas just outside the boundary of the park and were a joint effort by the SANParks rangers and K9 units, including co-operation by the South African National Defence Force and police.
“We are already in the full moon period, with huge numbers of incursions, spoor, and many other poaching-related activities keeping our anti-poaching teams extremely busy. Poachers beware!!! And we call upon you to weigh the risks of getting caught because you cannot get away with wildlife crime forever; the gap is gradually closing in on you,” KNP managing executive Glenn Phillips said.
“SANParks remains committed to doing everything in its power to fight the scourge of poaching. We also take this opportunity to encourage members of the public to report wildlife criminal activities on 013-735-0197 or 076-801-9679, ensuring that those who commit these deeds pay for their sins,” Phillips said.
SANParks added that the arrests comes after 14 suspected poachers were arrested during counter-poaching operations in the KNP in October.