The South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that new security measures at the iconic Kruger National Park are being implemented with the deployment of newly trained rangers .
According to Wanda Mkutshulwa, head of communications at SANParks, the measures are meant to enhance current security arrangements when guests, visitors and contractors enter the park. "We have taken a decision to deploy a crop of newly trained rangers to assist with policing and security at all our main entrance gates. These rangers will help with search-and-seizure duties where necessary, as well as the arrest of offenders.
She said that this deployment is part of a wider security strategy being implemented in the fight against rhino poaching. "We are at war and every single tactic will assist in ensuring that total control of all entry and exit points is managed by those tasked with the upkeep of the area integrity. It is no secret that the KNP has borne the brunt of these activities in recent times. Therefore, if we are serious about winning this war all commands must be marshalled from one point."
According to Mkutshulwa the deployed rangers have been trained in customer etiquette and also in the handling of sniffer dogs. "Our tracker dogs have been instrumental in the many successful anti-poaching operations that we have decided to utilise sniffer dogs at our gates; we are in a fortunate situation where individuals and companies are assisting us with training and donations of these dogs. We are not pulling out any of our tracker dogs from their missions, but have specially trained sniffer dogs ready for deployment."
The deployment is with immediate effect and is part of rolling out the many security measures that are being implemented in the KNP.
The measures are meant to bring down the number of animals that are being lost to illegal hunting emanating mainly from the KNP's eastern border with Mozambique.
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