Back in April, we brought you the story of the poacher whose attempts to hunt rhino ended in him being trampled by an elephant and then eaten by lions.
Not all poachers end up that way (some would say, unfortunately), apparent when just a week later police busted rhino horn smugglers North West province with 167 rhino horns.
If you want to know more about rhino poaching in South Africa, we’d recommend you check out the award-winning doccie, Stroop.
For now, let’s enjoy a story of good overcoming evil that recently played out in the Kruger National Park.
Over to The Citizen:
A heroic ranger single-handedly apprehended a gang of five heavily armed suspected rhino poachers in the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Saturday…
This after an intelligence-driven operation in the Malalane section of the park resulted in the arrest of five men suspected of poaching two rhinos.
Ike Phaahla, general manager of communications for the KNP, said they were grateful that the ranger was not injured during this brave act.
The poachers were armed with a high-calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, and poaching equipment. They also had five fresh rhino horns in their possession.
“The arrests followed the discovery of two fresh rhino carcasses. The dead animals had been covered with grass and twigs to try and hide them from sight and delay their discovery.”
The section ranger immediately deployed his rangers around the area to look for possible suspicious vehicles.
“He spotted the kombi with two visible passengers and three others who were hiding not far from where the carcasses were discovered.”
The ranger confronted the driver of the vehicle who produced a permit for two people, but when he searched the van he found a further three. He instructed them to get out of the vehicle with their hands in the air.
According to Phaahla, the ranger then loudly instructed them to lie on the ground next to the driver. He handcuffed three and while arresting the fourth. That suspect then pointed out that a fifth suspect had his firearm aimed at the ranger.
“Fortunately he failed to pull the trigger and the section ranger was able to call for backup.”
The suspects are in custody and SANParks is not ruling out further arrests. They will appear in court soon to face rhino poaching-related charges.
Get that ranger a Bell’s.
In fact, get him the whole bottle. We need more brave souls like him in the world.
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