Prince Harry part of Kruger poaching shoot-out

2015-08-09 10:31 - Selene Brophy
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The photo was taken by Stefane Berube in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda (National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2015)

PICS: Winners of the NatGeo Traveler Photo Contest 2015 leave us in awe

Cape Town - The Kruger National Park recently captured eight poachers in one day – turns out Britain’s very own Prince Harry was at the centre of one of the incidents.

The Daily Mail reports Prince Harry joined a military camp in South Africa and has been going on night patrols with an army unit in Kruger Park reserve. He was on patrol when the incident took place last Wednesday, as rangers confronted three poachers at Crocodile River. Known as "Operation Corona", it forms part of the government’s anti-poaching campaign.

READ: Kruger Rangers snag 8 rhino poachers in one day

SANparks said: “The rangers encountered three suspected poachers; a shoot-out ensued during which one poacher was wounded.”

All three suspects were arrested. Two hunting rifles, silencers, ammunition and other poaching equipment were confiscated.

In a follow-up investigation later in the same day outside the park a further five suspects were arrested in a joint operation between SANParks Rangers and the SAPS.

READ: Harry retires from army, heading to SA to fight Rhino poaching

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, has welcomed the arrests saying, “Just a week after commemorating World Ranger Day I want to again commend our rangers for their hard work together with other law enforcement units including the South African Police Service (SAPS).”

Since the start of 2015 a total of 223 suspected poachers have been arrested in the country, of which 129 were arrested in the Kruger National Park.

Molewa said the arrests were “a clear indication that resilience and dedication pays off” and that the department was grateful that no lives were lost. 

SANParks and the South African conservation fraternity continues to request the support and cooperation of all members of society in identifying and reporting suspicious behaviour that could lead to the arrest of suspected poachers.

Tourists can report any incidents they spot in the park on the SANParks Emergency Call Centre numbers 013 735 5516 / 076 801 9679. 

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