South African National Parks (SANParks) announced earlier this months that more poachers have been apprehended in recent weeks due to the increased efforts to stamp down on poaching of rhino and other high value wildlife in the Kruger National Park.In July 2009 SANParks announced that the organisation had lost 26 white rhino and one black rhino to poaching and an added 10.3kg of rhino horn through a violent robbery in the Addo Elephant National Park.
"It is with sadness that we announce that since our announcement at the end of July we have lost a seven white rhino to poachers. However, the greatest news to come out of these despicable activities is that SANParks has since apprehended another six suspected rhino poachers and the recovery of five illegal firearms," said Dr David Mabunda, the chief executive of SANParks.
The new arrests bring the number of arrested suspects to 14, with 11 recovered illegal firearms.Dr Mabunda said that what is alarming about this information is that of the 33 rhinos (including 1 black rhino) poached this year 28 of them were illegally killed along the eastern boundary with Mozambique and all the 14 suspects arrested thus far were of Mozambican origin.
'We intend to increase our efforts even more in ensuring that this scourge is routed out. Discussions have been started with Mozambican authorities to solicit their assistance in apprehending suspects and preventing illegal activities from proliferating on their side of the fence," said Dr Mabunda.
SANParks has pledged a sum of R5.2 million from its Park Development Fund which is aimed at improving anti-poaching interventions in the KNP. The funds are being used for increasing the number of field rangers by 57 people as well as buying more vehicles and a state of the Crime Information Management System.For other previous related articles on the matter please visit the SANParks website www.sanparks.org