Three Mozambican poachers arrested

THABAZIMBI – Three Mozambican nationals were arrested on Thursday 12 February after shooting and wounding two white rhinos on a privately owned game farm outside Thabazimbi.
The Poaching Unit of the police received information about poaching activities on a game farm. On arrival the police found that two suspects were already apprehended by the security personnel and farm managers.
With the assistance of local farmer Lourens du Plessis, whose helicopter was made immediately available, a third suspect was arrested.
The three suspects, Arbino Maphosa(30), Samuel Chidzinga(35) and Majuta Sithole(41), are Mozambican nationals and were in possession of a .303 rifle. A case docket of hunting of protected animals was opened and is still being investigated. The accused are still in detention.
The two wounded rhinos, one which sustained one bullet wound and the other two bullet wounds, are under observation. Removing the bullets from the injured rhino can cause more damage. Their survival depends on whether the bullets are encapsulated and thus the spreading of infection stopped. It can take up to three or four months to determine whether the rhinos will survive the gun shot wounds.
A rhino information day will be presented by the Thabazimbi branch of WRSA (Wildlife Ranching South Africa) on 6 May at Thaba Tholo with the specific aim of helping rhino owners to improve security around their rhinos. Currently any rhino owners can be and probably will be targeted, and may suffer huge losses, if proper precautions are not taken. Speakers on this day are Rubin Els, Simon Roodt and a representative of the Poaching Unit. For further information Herman Barnard of Thabazimbi WRSA can be contacted at 014 772 2628 or 082 335 6441.