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Rhino poacher shot and killed

Police confirmed one of three poachers was shot dead following a shootout in the Kruger National Park.

Rangers at the Kruger National Park have their hands full as the war against rhino poaching continues. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have confirmed a rhino poacher has been shot dead in the Kruger National Park.

It's understood the suspected poacher was part of a gang of three men who were cornered by park rangers earlier this week.

There was a shootout in the Punda Maria area, where two of the poachers managed to escape.

Police have seized firearms and opened a case of murder.

The police's Hangwani Mulaudzi says, "One of the suspects was shot dead, the other two managed to run away and we are investigating a case of murder."

Last month two police officers were arrested after they were found transporting a suspected poacher in a marked vehicle in Skukuza, Mpumalanga.

The officers, based at the Skukuza Police Station, were stopped during a sting operation by the Hawks and Kruger National Park Officials.

They couldn't explain why they were with a man who was armed with a .375 hunting rifle.

According to SANParks, more than 3,000 rhino have been poached in South Africa since 2000 and at least 402 rhino have been poached in the country since January.