Poachers killed four rhinos, including a pregnant female, at the Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve just outside Cape Town earlier this week.
An anti-poaching unit found four dead rhinos and one injured animal while on a routine patrol at about 10:30 pm on Wednesday. The rhinos had been killed with a high calibre rifle and their horns were hacked off.
The surviving injured animal had been shot in the face and is currently being treated by veterinarians. Park Marketing Manager, Johan van Schalkwyk said it is in a terrible condition, “The vets were on the site and looking at facial reconstructive surgery as a matter of priority. They need to first remove any of the bullet fragments that are still stuck, and to try to calm her down, which is an active ongoing situation,”
He said on social media, “That is the absolute shock and horror to the entire management team and the owner Searl Derman, is that there has been no reported incident at all of any fence breach or any suspicious activity”.
The anti-poaching unit found large calibre rifle rounds at the scene of the slaughter. It is believed the poachers used home-made silencers on the rifles. The unit has intensified patrols to find and bring the heavily armed perpetrators to justice.
Derman, has offered a R100,000 (about U$ 6,250 – a lot of money in South Africa) for information leading to the arrest of the poachers.
A team of private forensic investigators has been hired to work alongside the South African Police Service (SAPS), CapeNature, the surrounding farming community and neighbourhood watches.
Derman added: “we can assure you that we have already instituted a private forensic investigative team and private investigators on a local, regional and national level and we will vigorously pursue these poachers”.
While the Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve does not promote rhino dehorning, it has previously removed horns and replaced them with synthetic horns. This was done to reduce the risk of poaching and while widely publicised, together with signage on reserve fencing, this strategy did not deter the poachers in this latest incident. One of the slaughtered rhinos had a realistic and lifelike fiberglass horn with zero value to these poachers.
Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Celebrates World Ranger Day and reports back on rhino poaching in South Africa
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