Rhino cow poached in Great Fish River Reserve
Yet another Eastern Cape rhino has been killed in a poaching incident, police confirmed on Friday.
The poaching, which took place on Thursday, happened on the Great Fish River Nature Reserve, which is midway between Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) and King William’s Town.
This brings the number of poachings in the province this year to 12.
The death toll already matches the figure for last year, although the year has five months still to go.
The rhino, an adult female, was killed and both horns removed.
News of the poaching came as Eastern Cape police confirmed that six men – allegedly involved in illegal wildlife trade and crimes – had been arrested.
Police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci said the suspects had been arrested about 2km outside Makhanda at about 4pm on Tuesday as part of Operation Full Moon.
“It is alleged that the suspects’ vehicles were stopped and upon investigation and during a search of the vehicles a 375-calibre rifle, nine rounds of ammunition and a large sum of money, two knives, two axes and nine cellphones were confiscated from both vehicles,” Soci said.
“All the suspects are Zimbabwean nationals and the investigation continues to ascertain if they cannot be linked to other rhino poaching incidents in the province or the whole country.”
Provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga commended all the police members involved in the operation.
“Significant progress has been made by specialist detectives assigned to tracking down rhino poaching syndicates . . . This is an indication that we are committed to turning the tide on illegal wildlife trade,” Ntshinga said.
She said police were also encouraged to see that the private anti-rhino poaching units set up by game reserve owners were working with police to fight poaching.