One suspected rhino poacher has been fatally shot and another was wounded in a shoot out with SANPARKS rangers in the Kruger National Park early on Saturday morning.
Park rangers noticed three men within the Punda Maria – Boxahuku Mountains area of the Kruger Park and ordered them to stop. The men allegedly shot at the rangers who then returned fire.
One poacher died at the scene and one of the other poachers sustained gunshot wounds to his left knee and right thigh.
The other surrendered and was arrested. One hunting rifle with 11 rounds of live ammunition, one axe, one knife and three cell phones have been confiscated.
The rhino poacher that was killed was wearing a Mozambican army uniform while the other two were wearing SANPARKS uniforms.
The wounded suspect is under police guard at an undisclosed hospital while the other suspect is in custody and is expected to appear soon at the Makhado Magistrates’ Court.
The surviving poachers will be facing a range of charges including rhino poaching, attempted murder, trespassing, possession of unlicensed firearms and impersonation of SANPARKS officials.
Investigations are continuing to determine the identities of the suspects.
Another 12 Rhino Poachers were arrested over the weekend as well in the Kruger Park.
“SA National Parks (SANParks) announced three highly successful operations since Friday morning which led to the arrest of 14 suspected rhino poachers,” spokesman Raynold Thakhuli said in a statement.
“This brings the total number of poaching suspects arrested in the Kruger National Park to 113 this year.”