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Poachers arrested in KNP

Rangers and police apprehended two poachers on Tuesday night.

A dead rhino at the Finfoot Lake Reserve. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Anti-rhino poaching lobby groups have welcomed the arrests of two suspected poachers who were caught in the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Tuesday night.

Initially, three poachers were cornered.

One of them was shot dead in a gun battle and another two managed to escape.

Rangers recovered a hunting rifle and ammunition at the scene.

Private Rhino Owners Association's Pelhem Jones said they still needed more help to fight poaching.

"We obviously welcome any intervention. We are deeply concerned about the escalating situation despite what has been done by government and various agencies. We are sadly seeing a continuing escalation."

Since the beginning of the year, poachers have killed more than 500 rhino in South Africa with more than 360 of the deaths occurring in KNP.

On Saturday, three poachers were killed and another three arrested

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

KNP management said better cooperation between Mozambique and South African authorities led to those arrests.

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 a spike in poaching activities.

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.

It's understood most of the suspects are still crossing over through the Mozambican border.

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