A man has been arrested in connection with rhino poaching near Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said on Tuesday. The man was caught on Sunday after a car chase and shoot-out with rangers, spokesperson Musa Mntambo said in a statement.
Patrolling rangers heard shots and followed two men in a bakkie.
"A car chase ensued between the field rangers and the Bantam bakkie occupants for about 3km."
Shots were exchanged. The men abandoned the bakkie and ran. One of them, who was injured, was caught. His accomplice escaped.
The man, from Kwa-Hlabisa, in Mpembeni, was taken to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach. He would be charged with attempted murder when released.
Provincial Agriculture and Environmental Affairs MEC Meshack Radebe said without the rangers' commitment, the fight against poachers would fail.
"These men and women lay down their lives to protect the rhino and we salute them for the work they do every day under trying conditions," he said in the statement.
Fifty-three rhino had been killed in the province this year. Ten of these were poached in private game reserves and community conservation areas.