EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife Field Rangers had an armed contact with poachers at around 3:30 this morning which resulted in the death of two poachers. The incident happened at Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park’s (HiP) Nqolothi section. The Nqolothi section is in the iMfolozi part of HiP.

Being a full moon,Ezemvelo Rangers were on high alert as incursions often increase during the full moon.The Rangers patrolling the Nqolothi section heard some human voices nearby. The Rangers waited until they could see about five poachers with one carrying a 303 hunting rifle.

The Rangers switched on their torches and instructed the poachers to stop and put down the gun. One poacher pointed a gun towards the Field Rangers but the quick thinking Field Rangers fired first and two poachers were fatally wounded. A 303 rifle was recovered.

During the commotion,three poachers managed to escape and the K9 Unit with the assistance of sniffer dogs is following the tracks of those who escaped.

It is further alleged that the two poachers killed were working together with the three poaching suspects who were arrested in a joint operation between SAPS Rhino 8 and Ezemvelo Field Rangers on Saturday morning near Hluhluwe town. During this operation, a 458 hunting rifle with nine rounds of ammunition was recovered.

The Acting CEO of Ezemvelo, Mr Sthabiso Chiliza has expressed his appreciation regarding the latest success that the province has had in its fight against rhino poaching. “It is always a pleasant feeling when you know that the efforts of our Field staff as well as that of the SAPS are bearing fruit. Taking out five poachers in less than 24 hours is a huge achievement and I take my hat off to all those who were involved. We shall not relax until we arrest those who escaped as well as their handlers.” Mr Chiliza warned.

To date, 142 rhinos have been poached in the Province since the beginning of the year. For further enquiries please contact me on the following details.

Musa Mntambo
Ezemvelo KZN Wi KZNWidlife: Communications Manager
Tel: +27 (0) 33 845 1743
Cell: +27 (0) 83 284 9586