Rhino poachers caught thanks to community

One of the arrested suspects is said to be a ‘king pin’ who is alleged to have been involved in a number of poaching incidents in the province.  Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s anti rhino poaching community awareness campaign is bearing fruit in the form of arrests. On Wednesday, the community of Mnqobokazi (outside Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park) played an instrumental role in the arrest of two rhino poaching suspects.

On Wednesday, Mnqobokazi community members noticed the two suspects, who are both from the Skhemelele area near Ndumo Game Reserve, behaving suspiciously. They immediately notified the Nyathi Anti-Poaching Unit. On arrival, the Anti-Poaching Unit arrested the two men, who were in possession of a .458 firearm.

The two suspects appeared in the Obonjeni Magistrate’s Court on Friday. The firearm will be sent for ballistics tests, as it is suspected that it may have been recently used to poach in Tembe Elephant Park. This is the second set of arrests made in one month, following information received from the community. Last Friday, Ezemvelo field rangers and police arrested four suspects who were in possession of an illegal .375 firearm with a suppressor. The arrests took place in the KwaJobe area, outside Mkhuze Game Reserve.

The latest arrests bring the total number of people arrested for rhino poaching related incidents in KwaZulu-Natal to 57. To date, a total of 75 rhinos have been killed by poachers in the province.

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