The death toll from the weekend’s rhino killings at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP) in KwaZulu-Natal has risen to eight, with one survivor.
The three separate incidents occurred in three different areas of the Hluhluwe section of the park,Zululand Observer reported.
“In one incident, two rhinos were shot and dehorned on the Corridor Road while in another, five rhino were darted on the road to Hilltop Camp. It is one of these that survived,” said Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo.
The third incident occurred in the far northwest of the park, in which two rhino were shot.
Mntambo said authorities were confident the surviving rhino would make a full recovery and was yesterday taken to the park’s secure bomas.
According to Mntambo, no weapons have been recovered from any of the crime scenes, but the KwaJobe Community Forum apprehended one suspected poacher yesterday.
At this stage it is unknown whether or not the suspect is linked to the weekend’s poaching incidents.
This after five white rhino were killed and two others survived dehorning in less than two weeks at the same park late last month and early September.
Rangers found the carcass and also two dehorned, dazed rhinos and a calf that survived the poaching incident.
At the time, Mntambo said the rhino were possibly darted.
Speaking during last week’s World Rhino Day, Ken Maggs, chief of staff at ranger services at the Kruger National Park, said it had become increasingly harder to fight poaching at the game reserve.
“We face a poaching squad armed with the most modern equipment, and we must fight them with standard-issue weapons, so we need more,” he said.
He added there were concerns about the psychological welfare of anti-poaching staff – from forensics staff right through to office staff.
“Post-traumatic stress syndrome is becoming a problem. This war against poachers is relentless,” he added.
Read More: Five rhino found dead on Sunday
– Caxton News Service