South African National Parks (SANParks) and security partners in the Greater Kruger Region are jointly implementing a range of interventions to counter the effects of wildlife crime, particularly rhino poaching, and this includes de-horning.
SANParks said that as part of several initiatives, certain entities have embarked on strategic dehorning of selected rhinos in the Greater Kruger Protected Area landscape; and these are ongoing.
Kruger National Park (KNP) has implemented a range of integrated management actions to minimise the impact of rhino poaching such as:
Strategic dehorning of rhino in certain core areas of the KNP.
Strengthening security measures by deploying more South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and South African Police Service (SAAPS) patrols to conduct random stop and search operations within the KNP.
Specialised radar, airborne and other detection technologies to even track poachers on foot.
Highly trained tracker dogs and hounds to track suspected poachers in the bush.
Continue to brief the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on the state of wildlife crime.
The parties in the Greater Kruger landscape are committed to ensuring the survival of rhinos and other species and will continuously communicate and innovate for the benefit of the ecosystem and protection of key species, SANParks said, adding that SANParks, Provincial Parks in Limpopo (LEDET) and Mpumalanga (MTPA) as well as other private reserves within the Greater Kruger area have approved the initiative. The Greater Kruger parties will evaluate the effect of the integrated management response on an ongoing basis, and use the results and outcomes to adapt management approaches to the poaching scourge.
“These measures are not new in the fight against the scourge of poaching but we are intensifying them to render the incursions ineffective and counter the infiltration of our Rangers Corps by criminal syndicates. The courts have imposed stiff sentences in recent trials which is welcome as it shows the seriousness of the crimes and the threat posed by the criminal syndicates to the fauna and flora of South Africa,” said the Managing Executive of the KNP, Gareth Coleman.
Since the beginning of July 2021, KNP has had 10 successful arrests with 7 high calibre firearms confiscated.