Rhino poachers shot dead in KZN

30 September 2016 - 13:17 By Matthew Savides

The bodies of three alleged rhino poachers were removed from the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday after a shootout a day earlier. Rhino poaching has been on the increase in the northern KZN reserve‚ with 21 killed so far this month.In just two days last week‚ seven rhino were killed - six of them on World Rhino Day.By the end of last week‚ 115 rhino had been killed in KZN since the beginning of 2016.On Wednesday‚ anti-poaching rangers encountered suspected poachers in the reserve. The three men were killed in a shootout. SAPS units and IPSS Medical Rescue teams spent three hours recovering the bodies."An intensive three-hour joint operation took place yesterday to recover the bodies of three alleged poachers‚” said IPSS spokesman Candace Grobler.“Rescuers recovered the bodies of the poachers from a deep ravine in the bush of Hluhluwe game reserve. The deceased were accessed on foot after the rescuers were dropped off by a SANDF Oryx helicopter. The deceased were carried out of the dense bush by the rescuers to a staging area where they were winched up into the airframe before being flown out‚" said Grobler.According to KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife spokesman Musa Mntambo‚ 91 poachers had been arrested in 2016 compared to 49 in 2015. – TMG Digital/The Times

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