South Africa has the largest population of rhinos in the world. The implication of that is quite obvious. The nation became the world’s top hotspot for poachers to get their rhino horns.
Reports have it that 3 poachers were shot dead at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal after they engaged anti-poaching rangers in a gun battle.
The anti-poaching rangers reportedly encountered the poachers who shot at them, leaving them with little option but to return fire.
Confirming this, IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson, Candice Grobler related that they worked with the police search and rescue units to recover the bodies of the poachers.
“An intensive three-hour joint operation took place yesterday to recover the bodies of three alleged poachers,” Grobler started.
“Rescuers recovered the bodies of the poachers from a deep ravine in the bush of Hluhluwe game reserve. The deceased were accessed on foot after the rescuers were dropped off by a SANDF Oryx helicopter.
“The deceased were carried out of the dense bush by the rescuers to a staging area where they were winced up into the air-frame before being flown out,” she stated.
The bodies were then, handed to the forensic pathology unit for further investigations.
Records have it that poachers have killed over 5,900 African rhinos. In 2015, the number of African rhinos killed by poachers increased for the sixth year in a row.
Among other things, evaluations conducted to ascertain the factors inspiring rhino poaching, highlighted that an increasing demand for rhino horns in Asian countries is strengthening poaching crisis.
Albeit not backed by any scientific findings, it’s believed that rhino horns have the capabilities to heal diseases and even, manage hangovers.
Not long past, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Redlist listed the five remaining rhinos as threatened species. Worst-still, three out of the five species were declared ‘critically endangered’.