Last Wednesday (17 July), 119 vultures were found dead next to the carcass of a poached buffalo in the Kruger National Park. It’s suspected that the birds were poisoned by the same poachers.
Ike Phaahla, the spokesperson for SANParks told Times Live that the carcasses were estimated to be aproximately a week old when they were discovered in the Vlakteplaas region of the park.
It was reported that the poachers had killed the buffalo and cut out the meat from its body and then laced the carcass with poison.
Poachers do this in order to conceal their crimes, and allow themselves time to escape.
“The Kruger is a 2-million hectare property which makes it difficult for rangers to cover every inch. Vultures usually alert them to any carcass,”
It was announced, in a statement on Wednesday that the deceased vultures included:
- 117 white-backed vulture;
- One hooded vulture; and
- One white-headed vulture.
“Two of the vulture carcasses are being investigated to establish the type of poison that was used to kill the birds,”
Meanwhile, Kruger National Park rangers have arrested nine alleged poachers with heavy-calibre hunting rifles, ammunition and poaching equipment within the last week.