Cape Times

Elephants trample suspected poacher

- Lisa Isaacs

A SUSPECTED poacher was apparently trampled on and chased by a herd of Kruger National Park elephants into public view, where he was caught and arrested.

SANParks spokespers­on Ike Phaahla said the alleged poacher was part of a group of suspected poachers in the Kruger National Park chased by a herd of elephants and in the confusion, the man ended up on a tourist road.

A call was made to the police, who sent two of its members to arrest the man on Sunday.

“We understand he was hurt, but not seriously,” Phaahla said.

This comes days after the killing of a Kruger National Park ranger at the hands of alleged rhino poachers.

Environmen­tal Affairs Minister Dr Edna Molewa called the murder “an act of aggression by unscrupulo­us individual­s and gangs”.

Ahead of World Ranger Day marked at the end of this month, Molewa paid tribute to the ranger who was seriously wounded during a shootout with suspected rhino poachers last Thursday.

Molewa said the ranger, whose name is being withheld until the family have met, was from the Bushbuckri­dge area of Mpumalanga and was stationed at Crocodile Bridge.

He was wounded during a shootout with the alleged poaching group and died on the way to hospital.

The rangers had been tracking the alleged poachers, supported by the K9 unit. The shootout took place when the rangers pursued the alleged poachers.

Last year, the Game Rangers’ Associatio­n of Africa (GRAA) said at least 55 rangers from Africa had been killed in the space of a year. This total rises to over 105 dead rangers across the globe, according to the Internatio­nal Ranger Federation in the same period.

The GRAA said rangers across the world are being subjected to an increasing risk of confrontin­g lifethreat­ening encounters.

They operate in extreme environmen­ts, and in their efforts to protect our natural heritage, face the risks associated with the deadly threat of armed poachers and militia groups.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa