Four people were arrested for poaching in the Kruger National Park during the past week as the total number of rhino killed for their horns increased to 313 nationally.
The latest arrests in the Kruger National Park bring to 98 the number of people arrested for rhino poaching and the smuggling of rhino horn since the beginning of the year.
The Kruger National Park lost 13 rhino in the past week, increasing the number of rhino poached since January 1 to 229.
In the North West province a total of 25 rhino have been poached, while 24 have been poached in Limpopo, 20 in KwaZulu-Natal and 15 in Mpumalanga.
SANParks said two poachers were arrested, and a third fled, during a shootout near Pretoriuskop on Tuesday.
In a SAPS driven operation supported by Kruger National Park rangers, one of the alleged poachers was wounded in a shootout with rangers.
A .458 hunting rifle, silencer, ammunition, axe and knife were recovered. Investigations into the incident are continuing.
KwaZulu-Natal police said three alleged poachers appeared briefly in the Ubombo Magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition after they were caught near Jozini Dam with the weapons suspected to be used in rhino poaching.
The police are still investigating whether the suspects are linked to other cases of poaching in the area.
South Africans are urged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off line at 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line at 32211.