South African National Parks (SANParks) today announced that three rhinos had been lost since the beginning of the year. The animals were lost in two separate incidents. A hunting rifle and two sets of horns were recovered.
In the first incident, two white rhino were shot and killed on the Houtboschrand section of the Kruger National Park (KNP). According to Abe Sibiya, Managing Executive at KNP, “indications are that the two animals were shot on the 1st of January by a poaching group from Mozambique, their horns were removed and the group escaped”.
In the second incident, rangers deployed in the Lower Sabie area, made contact with a group of three poachers. Shots were exchanged and the three managed to escape but left
behind a high calibre hunting rifle and a bag containing a set of rhino horns. In a follow up operation, the carcass of a white rhino, with horns missing was discovered. “This is not an ideal way to start the year but the initiatives that we have put
in place, especially the aerial surveillance one is teaching us a lot and we are making a lot of progress” said Sibiya.