According to a statement released by SANParks, one suspected poacher was killed and another two arrested in the Kruger National Park over the weekend.
The shoot-out occurred on Saturday 26 January in the Nwanetsi section of the park, said SANParks’ Reynold Thakhuli. He said a high-calibre hunting rifle fitted with a silencer, ammunition and poaching equipment had been recovered.
According to Thakuli, investigations indicated that there were no poached animals in the area, and therefore media reports stating that two rhino had been poached could not be verified as further investigations were under way.
Thakuli said that, contrary to previous media reports, SANParks rangers said a rhino that was thought to have been shot and sustained an injury on the leg had actually been involved in a fight with another rhino.
“This was verified by a veterinary service officer who attended to the animal. A further aerial survey of the area was done this morning and the rhino in question was observed roaming freely in the bush,” said Thakuli.
SANParks urged the public to assist with any information that might lead to the arrest of more would-be poachers. Anonymous SMS tip-offs can be sent to 32211.
Main image: Rhino at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve from Year in the Wild by Scott Ramsay