Eleven rhino poachers have
been killed in the Kruger National Park (KNP) since the beginning of the year,
SA National Parks (SANParks) said on Tuesday.
Seven of them were killed
on Friday and Saturday, SANParks spokesman Reynold Thakhuli said in a
Four hunting rifles,
ammunition, poaching equipment and a pair of horns were seized.
The poachers were killed by
park rangers and members of the SA National Defence Force, in an attempt to
curb rhino poaching in the park, Thakhuli said.
Aggressive towards rangers
operate in groups of four to six and are aggressive and engage and shoot at the
rangers on sight, creating a daily life-threatening situation."
Thakhuli said two other
poachers were arrested and eight firearms were seized in January.
"Up to 15 heavily
armed groups operate in the KNP at any given time, especially during the full
moon period," he said.
Forty rhino have been
killed in the KNP in the past year.
"This has brought more
resolve from the Rangers' Corps to double their efforts to keep the species
alive," he said.
Ranger commander Maj-Gen
Johan Jooste said he was optimistic about the park's long term poaching
He said that poaching incidents
in the park had decreased from 72.6% in 2012 to 42.6% in 2013,
and that 123 people were arrested in connection with poaching activities in
"It is now up to the
prosecuting teams, investigators and the [SA Police Service] to conclude what
we have started," Jooste said.
Join the rhino wars
181 rhinos killed in SA in 2012
More than 1000 rhinos poached in 2013