2020 has been off to a good start in the Kruger National Park, where park rangers arrested 7 suspected poachers within the first 9 days of the year. SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni heaped praise on the rangers and hailed the “encouraging start to the year” a victory for the anti-poaching campaign.
The first group of three poachers were apprehended in the Skukuza/Lower Sabie section of the park on the 2nd of January following an extended day long follow up operation involving park rangers supported by the K9 and air wing reaction units. Along with arresting suspects, the rangers also recovered a heavy calibre hunting rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment.
The next arrest took place on the 7th of January, when another group of three poachers were swiftly apprehended by a Pretoriuskop/Stolznek team of rangers also supported by the K9 and rapid reaction air wing unit. The poachers had in their possession a high calibre hunting rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment.
On the 9th of January a group of poachers suspected of attempting to poach rhino were arrested after a lengthy operation in the Tshokwane area of the park.
SANParks CEO Mketeni stressed the importance of communities continuing to work in cooperation with the relevant authorities and supplying the vital information which plays a huge role in success of the anti-poaching campaign.
He said, ‘These criminals reside in our neighbouring villages and we urge our neighbours to help us save jobs and create opportunities through tourism because people come to the park to see these magnificent animals and if we lose them through the actions of these selfish individuals, we won’t be an attraction anymore.’
‘Congratulations to the entire SANParks team and we thank you for your dedication, obedience and tenacity and we wish you a successful 2020’.