Some Good News For Rhinos In The Tembe Elephant Park
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has claimed its single biggest anti-rhino poaching success to date when four suspects were jointly arrested inside the Bhekabantu District outside Tembe Elephant Park yesterday.
Jubilant Tembe Elephant Park Section Ranger Len Gunter said Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, SAPS and Nyathi Anti-Poaching had been working on a particular criminal syndicate for some time, following informed tip-offs. On Tuesday mid afternoon they invaded a home and confronted the four suspects.
On finding an unlicensed firearm (375 calibre bolt-action rifle), ammunition, silencer and an axe the suspects were arrested and taken to the nearby Manguzi police station. Gunter said one of the suspects was a Mozambican national while the three others were South African.
"They were caught completely unawares. We are thrilled with the level of intelligence we are now receiving and make no mistake this is a major success for us. If we can keep this up we are hopeful that we will start to seriously disrupt a number of these poaching gangs. We are now trying to link the rifle with an earlier poaching incident." Said Len Gunter.
The arrests coincided with the launch of the rhino infusion programme held in the park yesterday where MEC for the Dept. of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Dr BM Hadebe hailed the efforts of Ezemvelo in their ongoing fight against these criminal syndicates that have so far seen the loss of 63 rhino in KZN alone, eleven of them in the combined Tembe and Ndumo game reserves.
"These rangers are constantly putting their lives on the line. I praise them and want everyone to understand the passion and sacrifice they are making to save our natural heritage," he said yesterday
On Monday, 09 September 2013, Ezemvelo reported that a suspect was arrested inside Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. It was further reported that two accomplices managed to escape.
Ezemvelo can today announce that one of the two suspects who managed to escape on Monday has been arrested following some exceptional detective work by Ezemvelo Anti Poaching Unit investigators. A .375 gun suspected to have been used during the Monday encounter has also been recovered. Ezemvelo is currently following the leads regarding the third suspect and the arrest is imminent.