Three suspected rhino poachers were arrested following a tip-off from a tourist visiting the Kruger National Park. The suspects aged between 23 and 49 were arrested on Friday, 1 July 2022, the South African Police Services (SAPS) said.
Police said the suspected poachers who were arrested after a tourist alerted the authorities, were found to be in the country illegally.
They are due to appear in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of an unlicensed firearm with ammunition, as well as poaching and illegally entering the park. The police said more charges are expected to be added at a later stage.
Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, the police spokesperson said the tourist heard gunshots and informed field rangers who acted swiftly and arrested the three suspects and found four the carcasses of four rhinos. “Three carcasses were already dehorned,” Mohlala said.
“It is alleged that four armed poachers sneaked into the park. Later, gunshots were heard by a tourist who was visiting that day. Information was escalated to field rangers. A helicopter was immediately dispatched to the scene where the sound was heard.
“Three men were spotted and captured in possession of a hunting rifle, a silencer, three knives, four mobile phones and three bags. Four rhino carcasses and three rhino horns were found near the suspects. The fourth animal had not been dehorned.”
The three suspects were discovered to be from Mozambique. “As the investigation continues, we cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges against the suspects,” said Mohlala.