By Nosipho Mngoma
A suspected rhino poacher has been killed in a shoot-out with wildlife rangers near the Mozambique border.
The unidentified man’s body was found in the Tembe Elephant Park on Thursday after a gunfight with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife rangers just before sunset on Tuesday.
Spokesman Musa Mntambo said the man was thought to have been part of an armed group of at least four who opened fire on two rangers on foot patrol in a densely forested section near Ezemvelo’s Muzi outpost.
“The Rangers took cover and returned fire. The poachers retreated and vanished through the thick forest, escaping across the border,” said Mntambo.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident and said the rangers later handed over a .458 rifle with five rounds of ammunition and a silencer which was dropped by a poacher they thought might have been shot.
It was only on Thursday morning that the body was found.
Mntambo noted an increase in the number of rhino poached in this park, also known as the Ivory Route. Of the 60 rhino poached in KwaZulu-Natal so far this year, 10 were killed in the park. More....