By Diane Macpherson
The Hawks has been called in to investigate the latest rhino poaching carnage in KwaZulu-Natal.
Five white rhinos have died at Weenen Game Reserve in the Midlands since last Friday after poachers infiltrated the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife reserve.
Miraculously, two other rhinos survived the attack. They were assessed by Ezemvelo vet, Dave Cooper, yesterday who says their intervention is not needed.
The wounds look clean, the horns were neatly sawn off it appears while the animals were sedated.
It is believed all of the animals were darted, and those that died did so from a fatal dose of an animal sedative.
Ezemvelo's Rhino Intervention Co-coordinator Cedric Coetzee says they are conducting tests.
"There is the range of drugs that can be used, at the moment we not to sure which drug it is.
"We've taken fluid from the animals to pin-point exactly which drug was used. But our initial assessment is that it was N99.
"There is a number of angles that we can follow and the organised crime, Hawks, they are investigating the case and they have been up at Weenen since Friday," he said.
The latest deaths bring the province's rhino poaching toll for 2013 to at least 70.