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© Don Pinnock

Original Source: SANParks

The South African National Parks (SANParks) announced on 15 May 2014 the first confirmed elephant poaching incident in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in well over ten years. The incident occurred in the Pafuri region, in the northern part of the Kruger National Park.

According to SANParks Rangers Corp Officer Commanding, Major General (Ret) Johan Jooste, forensic evidence suggests that this elephant bull was purposefully shot for its tusks, which were hacked off and carried away by suspected poachers.

He said rangers patrolling the area noticed footprints of approximately four individuals leading towards Mozambique leaving the park. “Upon further investigations, which involved backtracking, the rangers on patrol came upon the elephant carcass.”

Jooste said ballistic evidence found at the scene confirmed that the animal was shot. Investigations are currently underway.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Abe Sibiya, said that given the situation in the rest of the continent in relation to rampant poaching of elephants, we have known that it was a matter of time before South Africa got targeted as well. Though our focus has been largely on curbing rhino poaching we have also been preparing ourselves to fight the poaching of elephants as well.

“We are saddened by this latest incident but are confident that the dedication and efforts of our rangers and our partners in the security sector will eventually prevail over this malady”, said Sibiya.

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