Three alleged rhino poachers, aged between 23 and 49 were arrested in the Kruger National Park this weekend, but not before they had managed to kill at least four rhinos.
According to police the poachers were caught thanks to a tourist, who reported gunshots in the park on Friday evening.
“The information was escalated to the field rangers and a helicopter was immediately dispatched to the scene where the sound was heard,” a statement by police reads.
“As the chopper arrived, three men were spotted and captured in possession of a hunting rifle, a silencer, three knives, four mobile phones as well as three bags.”
Police from Skukuza were alerted, and the suspects taken into custody, while three rhino horns were found in their possession.
“There were also four carcasses of rhinoceros that were discovered during the incident, however the horn on the fourth animal had not yet been removed when the suspects were caught.”
Police believe the fourth horn hadn’t been removed as the poachers’ knife had broken before they could do so.
The suspects are expected to appear in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning on charges of possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, as well as charges related to poaching and illegally entering the park.
The men are allegedly all Mozambican citizens, and since they are in the country illegally, they face further charges of contravention of the Immigration Act.