South African National Parks (SANParks) has arrested six suspected poachers since the beginning of the month and confiscated three firearms.
SANParks said it confiscated three heavy calibre hunting rifles and arrested the majority of suspects before they could shoot any animals. All arrests took place in the Kruger National Park. In the same period there were no elephants poached despite 55 recorded poacher activities.
All arrested suspects are detained at the Skukuza Police Station and will appear in court in due course.
“The successful operations are attributed to the dedication and efficiencies of the Ranger Corps, closely supported by rapid reaction K9, aircraft units and applied hi-tech detection technologies, SANParks said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SANParks, Fundisile Mketeni, commended all those involved in the operations saying “we are still miles away from being on top of this campaign but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our investment in technology and intelligence gathering means the risk to poachers has increased and they know that if we pick up their spoor, they will lose their freedom. The Rangers Corps, K9 and Air Wing units are working relentlessly in coordinated approach which is being continually refined to counter the threat posed by the poaching syndicates and for that we are grateful,” said Mketeni.
Mketeni urged communities to continue providing vital information to assist in curbing the scourge of poaching. He warned criminals that they are constantly under scrutiny and will soon end up behind bars if they don’t stop their illegal activities. He cautioned communities to stop supporting the bush meat trade which has seen an increase in snares in the Kruger National Park.