Community stands up against rhino poaching

Rangers patrol the area in Kruger National Park.

Members of the Matsulu community on the western border of the Kruger National Park (KNP) caught a suspected rhino poacher who was on the run after abandoning the alleged poaching gang's getaway car during the poaching incident.

Three suspected poachers, thought to be working in the Khandizwe Mountains between Berg-en-Dal in Kruger and the Western Boundary of the KNP, were apprehended by field rangers on Friday 6 April 2012. William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations, said "after being questioned by SANParks officials the suspected poachers indicated that a vehicle and driver were waiting for them to arrive with rhino horn in the Matsulu Township".

A SANParks helicopter was dispatched to where the vehicle was waiting to apprehend the remaining suspected poacher. As the helicopter approached, the suspected poacher abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot into the township where a gathering of local community members realised SANParks was after the fleeing suspect and gave chase. They tackled the man and within a few minutes he was arrested and restrained by the members of the community and handed over to SANParks officials.

"The community members after being told he was apparently involved in rhino poaching shouted that they were sick and tired of this criminal activity emanating from the township," said Mabasa.

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