A sixth rhino was shot and wounded but not dehorned.
According to farm owner Elvin Krull the rhino was treated for the gunshot wound and dehorned at the same time.
The three rhino carcasses were discovered at the Tyityaba Game Reserve in the Kei River area when a helicopter was used to locate other rhinos following the previous weekend’s incident in which two rhinos were poached.
Reserve manager Frank Krull said it was believed the carcasses discovered yesterday were linked to the initial poaching. All five had been shot with a high-powered rifle before their horns were hacked off with pangas.
“Since the initial incident we have been looking for the rhinos. We then took a decision to get a helicopter in to search the bush from the air,” he said.
Krull said they were shocked and extremely angry. “These are blood-thirsty poachers who do not care about conservation.”
Krull advocated the legalisation of rhino horn to save the species.
“It is simple maths. At the moment these rhinos are worth millions of rand dead and about R200 000 each alive. It is vital that the government legalise the trade,” he said.