March 31, 2013 – Five (5) South African soldiers died in a helicopter crash while patrolling for rhino poachers in the sprawling Kruger National Park, according to CNN and other news sources.
Poaching at Kruger National Park
Game poachers (including big game poachers) often operate in darkness, benefitting from the use of increasingly sophisticated night vision goggles, related technological instruments, and large caliber rifles — often fitted with suppressors and the latest telescopes. It is thought that most poachers at Kruger National Park are Mozambique citizens who initiate their carefully planned incursions from the Mozambique border region. Around 200 poachers were apprehended in 2012 while about thirty (30) poachers have been killed during confrontations with armed guards, anti-poaching forces, etc.
Nearly 200 rhinos have been poached in South Africa this year, a majority at Kruger National Park.
In July 2012, a pair consisting of a Kruger game ranger and policeman were the first wildlife protectors to die in anti-poaching operations. There have also been reports of other Kruger National Park employees experiencing various incidents of intimidation by big game poachers in the area.
Resources – Credit due: Five dead in South African rhino anti-poaching effort
- South African copter crash kills 5 soldiers on rhino patrol – CNN (Easter 2013) — Five South African soldiers died in a helicopter crash while patrolling for rhino poachers in the sprawling Kruger National Park.
- Kruger National Park
Rangers Kill Suspected Rhino Poachers In South Africa’s Kruger National Park – Huffington Post (Mar 2013)
JOHANNESBURG, March 28 (Reuters) – Three suspected rhinoceros poachers were killed in a shoot-out with rangers in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, a park official said on Thursday.
The number of rhinos killed for their horns in South Africa so far this year has shot up to 618. This is well past last year’s shock record of 448 and substantially more than the tally of 550 predicted at the beginning of 2012.