Three suspects arrested for shooting rhino in Bela-Bela area

Die Pos

Three suspects arrested for shooting rhino in Bela-Bela area
Three suspects arrested for shooting rhino in Bela-Bela area - Image - Die Pos

After a long search, three suspected poachers were arrested during the past week.

Peter Scheepers, chairman of the Bela-Bela Sector 1 Community Policing Forum, said that around 01:00 on Friday, September9, he received a call that shots were fired from a reserve on the outskirts of the town. Members of his community, together with the Roodepoort neighborhood watch, Vogelstruispan-neighborhood watch, Nylstroom CPF, the Heritage Protection Group (HPG), the police dog unit, Modimolle and Bela-Bela police responded immediately to the event upon notification.

The name of the reserve is withheld for security reasons.

Lieutenant Colonel. Moatshe Ngoepe, the provincial police spokesman, said that two rhinos were shot but had not died. He said that it appeared as if the rhinos stormed the poachers and that caused them to drop their weapons that the rhinos damaged in the process.

During the search, five pairs of footprints were spotted at the scene, and members of the HPG group proceeded to follow for several kilometers. A helicopter was dispatched during the course of the day to help the team locate the poachers.

Three suspects were arrested on Friday afternoon, and were found to be in possession of a gun with 270 rounds of ammunition.

At the beginning of September in the Red Mountain area, two rhinos were killed. The poachers cut off the horn and other wounded rhinos were left to suffer while still alive. The suffering rhinos had to be killed.

Investigations will continue to determine whether the alleged poachers arrested on Friday are linked to the other cases. Scheepers said they were pleased with the arrests and that the investigation and response teams did a great job.

The three men will appear in the Bela Bela Magistrate’s Court on Monday, during the month.

South Africa Today – South Africa News