Johannesburg – Four white rhino were poached for their horns in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend, as one of them, a mother, left behind a calf, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said on Monday.
“A female white rhino was shot during the early hours of Friday in the Emakhosini-Ophathe Heritage Park… the rhino had a calf which survived and is being nursed at the Centenary Game Capture Centre in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park,” said spokesperson Maureen Zimu.
“The carcasses of another three white rhino males were found on (Friday) in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.”
A post-mortem revealed the animals had been shot a few days earlier.
Meanwhile, it is believed that the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife anti-poaching unit intercepted a group of suspected poachers in the Western Shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on Sunday.
“(The) unit was on a routine patrol (at 16:00) when they heard a gunshot.
“Upon investigating they came across three armed men pursuing a white rhino. (The men) disappeared into thick bush.”
She said the field rangers could find no injured rhinos in the area.
“The unit, working with the Police Dog Unit from Empangeni, combed the whole area without finding a rhino carcass.”
She said the search would continue until the unit was satisfied that no animal had been hurt.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife CEO, Dr Bandile Mkhize, has reiterated that the war against rhino poaching will be intensified in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, with a further 18 field rangers being added to the park’s staff and additional specialised equipment being provided.