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| Main Photograph Anja Denker
SWIFT, COORDINATED ACTION BY SRT, MET AND NAMPOL LEADS TO THE APPREHENSION OF POACHERS
After 173 days of no rhino poaching incidents in our region, on Saturday, 13 June 2015, an approximately 13 year old rhino cow was found dead, a victim of wildlife crime.
While this is a tragic loss of life, we are proud of the collaborative response of the Save the Rhino Trust, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, NAMPOL and the Protected Resource Unit in apprehending the poachers.
SRT trackers reported suspicious tracks on Friday, the 12th, and initiated the response protocol whilst continuing to follow the spoor. NAMPOL and MET were informed to coordinate the collaborative response.
Swift police action to block all exit routes from the area led to the arrest of five suspects in possession of the horns, rifle and butchering equipment by Saturday afternoon. The arrests preceded finding the carcass. An additional team was deployed to the area to assist in finding the carcass.
The carcass was located on Sunday 14th and Scene of Crime Investigation conducted by the Protected Resources Unit of NAMPOL.
NAMPOL PRU commended SRT as being instrumental in facilitating the arrests.
For this rhino we failed in our goal of protecting her from poachers. However the co-ordinated efforts of SRT, MET, NAMPOL and our partners were tested successfully. We believe that this arrest and our swift action will help to deter further poaching.