One of the Kruger National Park’s regional rangers, together with a veterinarian technician in the Government’s Department of Agricultural and Forestry, Animal Health Directorate in Skukuza were arrested yesterday in the Kruger National Park for rhino poaching related offences.
SANParks Rangers were on their normal daily patrol when they heard three gunshots in their area and rushed towards the direction of the shots to investigate. As they approached the scene they saw two men, one in green Ranger uniform and the other one in khaki clothes, running towards the direction of a bakkie which was parked nearby, South African National Parks (SANParks) said in a statement.
The Rangers called for assistance as they were chasing the bakkie which was ultimately blocked at some point by another group of rangers who were also rushing to the area to assist in the chase. The two suspects were arrested, and a fresh white rhino carcass, two horns, a riffle and other poaching equipment were recovered.
The Chief Executive Officer of South African National Parks, Fundisile Mketeni, said “It is indeed sad and horrible to hear of one of our own has been arrested for rhino poaching related activities. These are the men that are tasked with leading the anti-poaching operations in the park. We however applaud our Field Rangers who effected the arrest as difficult as it was for them to arrest their superior. This is evidence of the commitment of our employees to the fight against poaching where ‘no favour nor fear’ is their guiding principle in the war against this scourge. We are confident that with this calibre of men and women in our parks, we will win this fight.”
SANParks said the two arrested suspects cannot be named as they still have to appear in court.