The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) reports that four South African National Parks (SANParks) officials were arrested in connection with rhino poaching activities. The arrest came after the discovery of two freshly killed rhinos in the Pretoriuskop section of the park.
The animals had been shot and their horns removed. The arrest of the four, who are based in the Pretoriuskop section of the park, was a result of a joint investigation by members of SANParks and South African Police Service.
"It is a very sad day for South Africa to find out that the unscrupulous and revolting hands of the poaching syndicates have stretched as far as to taint the hands of those trusted with the great responsibility of being guardians of our natural heritage," Dr David Mabunda, the Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, told the GCIS. A total of 11 rhinos have been killed in Pretoriuskop alone since January 2012, bringing the total number of rhinos killed in the Kruger National Park this year to 43. Throughout the country, a total of 80 rhinos have been lost to poaching since the beginning of the year and 50 arrests have been made.
SANParks and the South African conservation fraternity continue to request the support and cooperation of all members of society in identifying and reporting suspicious behaviour. SANParks have established a crime line (082 908 3053 or email@example.com) in order to improve the level of cooperation with the public as well as to make access for would-be informers much easier.
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