The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, has expressed her sadness at the killing of a Kruger National Park ranger at the hands of alleged rhino poachers.
The ranger, whose name is being withheld until the family have met, was from the Bushbuckridge area of Mpumalanga, and was stationed at Crocodile Bridge.
He was seriously wounded on Thursday during a shootout with the alleged poaching group and died on the way to hospital. The rangers had been tracking the alleged poachers, supported by the K9 unit. The skirmish took place when the rangers pursued the alleged poachers.
Further police investigations into the shooting incident are underway.
The Minister has strongly condemned the incident as an act of aggression by unscrupulous individuals and gangs.
My condolences go out to our departed ranger’s colleagues, his family and friends. His death at the hands of alleged rhino poachers is an indication of the severity of the threat our rangers are faced with a daily basis, said Minister Molewa.
As we approach the commemoration of World Ranger Day on 31 July, I would like to pay a special tribute to our departed ranger for dedicating his life to the protection of the rhino and all other species in the Kruger National Park, said the Minister adding: It is only through the efforts of our brave men and women on the frontline, that our many species such as the elephant, rhino and lion are conserved in the wild.
Source: Government of South Africa