Kruger rhino died from bullet wound

The rhino is one of the 548 that have fallen victim to poachers in Kruger this year.

FILE: It has been revealed that 548 rhino have fallen victim to poachers in the Kruger National Park this year. Picture: EWN.

MPUMALANGA - An autopsy revealed that one of the two rhino that were gunned down at the Kruger National Park earlier this week died from a bullet wound to the ribs.

Environmental crime investigators trekked through the bush for more the 3km to the scene to perform a postmortem on the three-day-old carcasses.

These are just two of the 548 rhino that have fallen victim to poachers in the park this year.

The stench of rotting flesh filled the air as investigators skinned the rhino in an effort to determine the cause of death.

Ashely Shabalala, who has been an environmental crime investigator for three years, says the rhino was shot with a high calibre rifle which tore through the animal.

"The rhino died from a bullet wound because it was shot with a .458 calibre rifle."

Shabalala says that investigators have their hands full responding to at least 10 poacher-related killings a week.