South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced three successful operations in the Kruger National Park (KNP) with six suspected poachers arrested since the beginning of October.

SANParks says weapons were confiscated, adding that the suspects were arrested before shooting any animals. 

Ike Phaahla, spokesperson of SANParks said:

“Three heavy-caliber hunting rifles were confiscated during the operations and the majority of the suspects were arrested before shooting any animals,

In the same period there were no elephants poached, despite 55 recorded poacher activities.”

Phaahla attributes the successful operations to the dedication and efficiency of the Ranger Corps, closely supported by rapid reaction K9, aircraft units and applied hi-tech detection technologies.

The CEO of SANParks, Fundisile Mketeni, has commended all involved.

He said:

“We are still miles away from being on top of this campaign, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Our investment in technology and intelligence gathering means the risk to poachers has increased, and they know that if we pick up their spoor, they will lose their freedom,”

He added that the Ranger Corps, K9 and Airwing units are constantly refining their approach to fight any threat posed by organised poaching syndicates.

He urged communities to keep providing authorities with the vital information needed to continue their working in eradicating poaching in the Kruger National Park.

Mketeni cautioned communities to stop supporting the bush meat trade, which has caused an increase in snares found in the KNP.

All arrested suspects are currently being detained at the Skukuza Police Station and will appear in court soon.