MIDRAND, JOHANNESBURG: A suspected poacher was today was killed by elephants at Kruger National Park (KNP).
South African National Parks, (SANParks) has confirmed the bizarre incidence where a poacher under chase was attacked to death by elephants.
“Field rangers were on were patrolling near Pabheni Gate area when detected incoming spoor and made a follow up in pursuit of the suspects. The deceased and his accomplices met his fate, as they attempt to flee from the rangers and he ran into the herd of elephants.
“With the assistance of Airwing and K9 Unit, the rangers managed to arrest one suspect, who gave information that his fellow accomplice had ran into the herd of elephants,” Gareth Coleman, an executive of KNP said.
“We are proud of the teamwork and dedication of our Rangers Corp, our Aviators, and the K Unit. It is unfortunate that a life was unnecessarily lost. Only through discipline, teamwork, and tenacity will able to stem the tide of rhino poaching in the KNP,” he added.
A rifle and ammunition were recovered at the scene of the arrest.
In January 2020 alone, 13 arrests have been made, 17 incursions and 6 weapons of high caliber and ammunition were confiscated. The environmental affairs have put stipends to enable environmental monitors to continue working on the ground.
Over the years, SANParks was concerned about the light sentences and bail conditions are given to the offenders. They have raised those concerns with the Department of Justice and are happy with the current sentences given to offenders.
A report released by the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries in February 2020, indicated that “…since the last report on the rhino poaching situation and efforts made to address the crime, rhino horn samples have been released for analysis from Vietnam to determine whether if the horns confiscated are linked to crimes in South Africa. The Hawks have also received very good cooperation from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan in their efforts to combine wildlife trafficking.”