Four men have been arrested in connection with poaching in the Bhekabantu District of northern KwaZulu-Natal, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said on Wednesday. The men were caught near Tembe Elephant Park on Tuesday after the police and rangers were alerted about a poaching syndicate, spokesperson Musa Mntambo said in a statement.
They were found with an unlicensed .375 calibre bolt-action rifle, ammunition, a silencer and an axe. The police were trying to link the rifle to an earlier poaching incident, said Mntambo.
KwaZulu-Natal environmental affairs MEC Meshack Radebe commended the efforts of Ezemvelo in its ongoing fight against poachers.
"These rangers are constantly putting their lives on the line. I praise them and want everyone to understand the passion and sacrifice they are making to save our natural heritage,"
A total of 63 rhino have been poached in KwaZulu-Natal this year.