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Media Release: Success of "Operation Rhino Alive" in the Kruger National Park
Date: 19th December 2012
The South African National Parks (SANParks) announced today that five suspected poachers were arrested over this past long weekend. The suspects were in possession of ammunition, a silencer and two high caliber hunting rifles.
In an operation involving members of SANParks, the SAPS and SANDF on 15 December 2012, three suspected poachers were arrested in the Tshokwane area, which has seen a lot of poaching activities. The suspects were spotted by Field Rangers shortly after entering the Park from Mozambique. An operation consisting of the coalition forces with back up from helicopters and tracker dogs managed to corner the group before they could carry out their mission. The suspects are currently in custody.
“The long weekend has been a very good one in the fight against rhino poaching, our joint forces were able to make contact with two groupings and emerge on top without the loss of an animal” said Major General(Retired) Johan Jooste the newly appointed Commanding Officer in the Kruger National Park (KNP).
In the second incident, one suspected poacher was shot and injured and another arrested after contact with the coalition forces of SANParks, the SAPS and the SANDF. The incident took place on 17 December 2012 in the Malelane Section of the KNP. The suspected poachers were spotted by Field Rangers, who then called for backup from the SAPS and the SANDF. During the contact, one suspected poacher was shot and injured, while another was arrested. The suspected poachers were also in possession of a high caliber hunting rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment. The injured suspected poacher is currently under police guard in a local hospital.
Major General Jooste concluded by saying that the two successful intelligence driven operations will be good for the morale of all those involved in the fight against Rhino Poaching.
In addition, Ken Maggs, SANParks Senior General Manager, Environmental Management Inspector (EMI) and Environmental Crime Investigation & Air Services, said he is happy with the way in which the recently launched air surveillance operation is proceeding. “We are learning new things every day, and intelligence gathered is helping to close the net on poaching activities in the park”.
SANParks Media Specialist
Tel: 012 426 5315 Mobile: 083 673 6974