Suspect rhino poacher shot dead in Kruger Park

 A suspected rhino poacher was shot dead and two others arrested  in the Kruger National Park on Saturday, 26 January 2013. 

A high calibre hunting rifle fitted with a silencer, ammunition and poaching equipment were found in the possession of the suspects, according to SANParks spokesperson, Reynold Thakhuli.

He said the suspect was fatally wounded in a joint operation carried out by the Kruger National Park Task Force Rangers and the SAP in the Nwanetsi section of the park.

 Initial investigations indicated there were no poached animals in the area and Thakuli pointed out that media reports stating two rhinos were poached cannot be verified as further investigations are underway.

According to SANParks rangers, the rhino thought to have sustained an injury on the leg when it was shot had actually been involved in a fight with another rhino.

“This was verified by a veterinary service officer who attended to the animal,” Thakhuli said. “A further aerial survey of the area was done this morning and the rhino in question was observed roaming freely in the bush.”

 At least 32 rhinos have been poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year.

 SANParks has asked the public to help the police with any information which may lead to the arrest of more would-be poachers.

 South Africans are urged to report any information or tip offs that they may have in relation to rhino poaching to 0800 205 005.

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