Four Kruger National Park arrested for rhino poaching

A ranger watches out for rhino poachers.


Four Kruger National Park (KNP) staff have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching. The suspects are all based in the Pretoriuskop section.

One is employed as a field ranger and another as a traffic officer. More than half of Kruger’s field ranger’s are currently on strike, in its fourth week running.

Tourists found two fresh rhino carcasses on the Napi Boulders Loop early morning on February 28, 2012.

They alerted the rangers of the Pretoriuskop section and the South African Police Service, which include the K9 Unit of Endangered Species who made the arrests in the afternoon.

According to the Lowvelder newspaper, visitors on the Sweni trail came across three rhino carcasses on Friday, February 24. The horns had been removed.

The visitors were not allowed to take any photographs.

Visitor, Pieter Pretorius, said the guide estimated the animals had probably been shot on the Wednesday. The Sweni trail is south of Nwanetsi in the central region of the park.

Since January, 11 rhino have been killed in the Pretoriuskop section alone and 43 in the KNP. South Africa has lost 80 rhinos to poachers, while 50 arrests have been made.

“It is a very sad day for South Africa to find out that the unscrupulous and revolting hands of the poaching syndicates have stretched as far as to taint the hands of those trusted with the great responsibility of being guardians of our natural heritage’” said Dr. David Mabunda, the chief executive officer of SANParks.

“I am personally saddened to discover that some of our own would so callously abuse the confidence and faith that we have entrusted upon them,” he said.

To report any environmental crime, and specifically rhino poaching information or incidents, please email antipoaching@sanparks.org or call: 082 908 3053.

Rhino poaching statistics in South Africa: February 29, 2012

A 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
KNP (SANParks) 36 50 146 252 43
MNP (SANParks) 0 0 0 6 3
GAUTENG 0 9 15 9 0
LIMPOPO 23 16 52 74 14
MPUMALANGA 2 6 17 31 2
NORTH WEST 7 10 57 21 9
EASTERN CAPE 1 3 4 11 0
FREE STATE 0 20 30 4 00
KWA ZULU NATAL 14 28 38 34 8
WESTERN CAPE 0 0 0 6 1
TOTAL 83 122 333 448 80

Arrests in South Africa: February 29, 2012

SA 2012 2011 2010
KNP 9 82 67
MNP 0 0 0
GAUTENG 6 16 10
MPUMALANGA 16 73 16
EASTERN CAPE 0 2 7
LIMPOPO 3 34 36
NORTH WEST 15 21 2
FREE STATE 0 0 00
KWA ZULU NATAL 0 4 24
WESTERN CAPE 0 0 2
NORTHERN CAPE 1 0 0
TOTAL 50 232 165



 
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