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September 23, 2014 | Last Updated 2:15 AM
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National & Provincial
Jan 27 2013 11:21PM
 
Two suspected rhino poachers shot dead
A joint effort by Kruger National Park rangers and the South African Police Services (SAPS) left two suspected rhino poachers dead. Picture: Gallo Images
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Irvine Makuyana

A joint effort by Kruger National Park rangers and the South African Police Services (SAPS) left two suspected rhino poachers dead, one wounded and three behind bars pending an appearance before the White River Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The offensive intensified the following day where another suspected rhino poacher died after an exchange of gunshot fire with Kruger National Park rangers. Two of his colleagues were apprehended.

“Two rhinos were poached in the Kruger on Friday. One suspect was shot dead and his colleague was wounded.

“On Saturday, another rhino escaped with a bullet wound,” said Hawks’ spokesperson Paul Ramaloko.

“The suspected rhino poachers fired shots at rangers but the team managed to arrest two of them. The third was shot dead and we confiscated one hunting rifle.”

Ramaloko said the suspected rhino poachers were all believed to be Mozambicans. Both incidents happened in the Skukuza area.

The three men in custody will be facing charges of illegal entry into South Africa, possession of an illegal firearm, rhino poaching and attempted rhino poaching.

The latest rhino poaching statistics show that 32 rhinos have been poached since the beginning of the year.

irvinem@thenewage.co.za

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