A ranger was shot and wounded during an operation to apprehend suspected poachers in the Kruger National Park, SA National Parks (SANParks) said on Saturday.
Houtboschrand section ranger Andrew Desmet was shot in the stomach during a joint operation between SANParks and the SA National Defence Force on Friday night, spokesman Reynold Thakhuli said in a statement.
"He was subsequently airlifted to a medical facility in Nelspruit (Mbombela) where he underwent an operation late last night and his condition is stable," he said.
"While this incident was unfolding, another group of rangers made contact with a second group of armed poachers approximately two kilometres away where a shoot-out ensued."
Thakhuli said the poachers managed to escape into the bush and no arrests were made.
A 458 heavy calibre rifle and other poaching equipment were recovered at the scene.
SANParks chief executive David Mabunda extended his well wishes to Desmet on behalf of all park staff.
"Andrew is a long serving member of our ranger corps. We have always said it is a war out there, and we wish once again to thank Andrew and all our rangers who are in the front line of the battle."
He thanked all those who played a role in getting Desmet to safety and wished him a speedy recovery. More....