KZN rangers shoot and kill suspected rhino poacher

Field rangers manning the Cengeni Gate of Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife’s Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, shot dead a suspected rhino poacher.

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After hearing gunshots near the gate, the rangers tracked and confronted a suspect said to have been carrying a .303 calibre rifle. The suspect allegedly pointed the rifle at the rangers who then shot and killed him before he could pull the trigger.

KZN Wildlife spokesperson, Musa Mntambo, said that a suspect accompanying the shot man managed to flee. However, an immediate follow-up patrol on the road leading out of the game reserve from Cengeni Gate led to the arrest of another three suspects. One of these suspects reportedly admitted that he was the man who had fled the scene of the shooting.

“These arrests bring to five the number of suspected rhino poachers arrested in KwaZulu-Natal this year,” said Mntambo. “Ezemvelo is currently searching the area where the initial gunshots were heard to determine if any rhino were killed.” At least 188 rhino had been poached so far in South Africa this year.

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