Mozambican poachers arrested

A total of 362 rhino have already been poached in KNP this year alone.

FILE: Finfoot Lake Reserve owner Miles Lappeman inspects a dead rhino. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Kruger National Park (KNP) says better cooperation between Mozambique and South African authorities has led to the arrest of three poachers.

Rangers along with Mozambican authorities tracked six poachers along the border and killed three during a shootout.

KNP's William Mabasa said the other three were arrested.

"It is encouraging because we never get that kind of cooperation from the Mozambican side."

At the same time, a two year census of the number of rhino in the Kruger Park is nearing completion thanks to rapid anti-poaching measures introduced to keep the animals and scientists safe.

Scientists started the survey last year, but were unable to finish partly due to the spike in poaching activities.

Mabasa said, "Our scientists are busy with the census. We believe by the end of November we'll have the exact number of rhinos in the park."

KNP has also called on citizens living in communities that may have been infiltrated by poachers, to help protect the rhino.

Hundreds of arrests have already been made in the reserve since the beginning of the year thanks to a government and military led intervention.

Mabasa says most of the suspects are still crossing over through the Mozambican border.

"The issue of rhino poaching will not be won by the country unleashing security forces inside the park, it needs nationwide contribution because we stay with some of the poachers in our villages and towns."