Limpopo officials have discovered a rhino cemetery containing 17 rhino carcasses at the Letaba Ranch, on the western border of the Kruger National Park, Beeld newspaper reported on Friday.
“We’re devastated,” the spokesman for Limpopo’s department of economic affairs, development and tourism Joshua Kwapa, said.
According to him it seems the animals have been poached in this provincial reserve since last year.
“It could also have been earlier, perhaps even since three yeas ago. All the animals’ horns have been removed.
“It’s gruesome. We’re shocked. We’ve launched a high-level investigation. The guilty parties must pay.”
Kwapa said the carcasses were found recently when a “service provider” was doing a survey of the game on Letaba Ranch. He was flying over the reserve in a helicopter when he saw the carcasses.
He said everything possible will be done to track down the guilty parties and members of the national task team appointed to investigate rhino poaching, will also be involved.
Meanwhile, game rangers this week caught three suspected poachers near Pretoriuskop as they were on their way out of the game park.
Three rhino carcasses were found in the Loskopdam area at the weekend, two more at a reserve in the Hartbeesfontein area in the North West, and a sixth near Mookgophong (Naboomspruit).
So far 268 rhinos have been poached this year, Beeld reported.