Poacher killed in the act NEWS / 5 November 2016, 3:17pm
Durban - A poacher became the victim on Thursday evening when game rangers monitoring a group of four rhino in iSimangaliso Wetland Park killed the man as he attempted to shoot a rhino.
On Frirday, iSimangaliso’s spokeswoman, Terri Castis said two men who were carrying high calibre weapons fired at the rhino.
“The game rangers returned fire and fatally wounded the shooter. The second suspect fled the scene.
“A .375 rifle with a silencer was recovered at the scene. The rhinos ran off into darkness and at first light yesterday, rangers resumed tracking. As yet there is no indication of any injury to the rhino. The investigation is still under way,” said Castis.
This come after news this week that rhino poaching in the province has reached the highest levels in more than a century, with 132 rhino being killed this year alone. This is according to provincial rhino security head Cedric Coetzee, who said this figure included a rampage in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park which saw 23 rhinos being slaughtered in two weeks by a gang believed to be from Limpopo.
There was also concern voiced this week that rhino poaching is starting to impact on tourism. According to a new study by the University of Pretoria, rhino poaching is an issue of concern and anxiety for visitors, with concern being voiced over the lack of information, irritation at having to wait in long queues to be searched at gates and the sound of helicopter patrols spoiling the tranquillity of a wildlife experience.