KZN wants to call in army to fight rhino poachers
The KwaZulu-Natal nature conservation services (Ezemvelo) wants to enlist the help of the defence force to put a stop to rhino poaching in the province.
Spokesman Musa Mntambo told the Beeld newspaper that Ezemvelo was caught off-guard earlier this year by a spike in rhino poaching.
By the middle of October 2012, 55 rhino had been poached, compared to 34 in 2011 and 38 in 2010.
After the Kruger Park's loss of 272 rhinos for the year, KwaZulu-Natal has the highest poaching figures.
An internal Ezemvelo inquiry into the discovery of seven rhino carcasses at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi reserve on September 22, recommended that specialist units be deployed to allow a wider area to be patrolled.
Mntambo said Ezemvolo's anti-poaching unit had only 60 members to guard all the reserves in the province, and that around 200 were needed to provide one member per 1000 hectares.
A field guide and a member of the anti-poaching unit were fired after the internal inquiry.