A routine official visit for the South Africa National Parks CEO turned into a criminal pursuit when his helicopter diverted to assist with suspected poachers.

For the official release issued by South African National Parks, Kruger National Park – Communications & Marketing Department see below:

(21 June 2018)

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SANParks Fundisile Mketeni during his official visit to Kruger this week found himself having to help Rangers who chased and apprehended three suspected poachers on Wednesday the 20 June 2018 in Tshokwane Section of the Kruger National Park (KNP).

The CEO was en route to observe the western boundary between the KNP and communities when the helicopter he was flying in, was requested to assist Rangers on the ground who were pursuing a group of suspected poachers.

The suspects were ultimately arrested with the help of the K9, fixed wing airplane and the helicopter the CEO was flying in. The suspects were found in possession of a heavy calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, poaching equipment and a fresh pair of rhino horns.

Speaking of his experience, Mketeni said it was sad to see the carcass of a beautiful and magnificent species that had been roaming the wild areas of the KNP hours earlier but was killed because of greed and criminality. “It was a privilege to work alongside the dedicated team of Rangers and Air Wing colleagues and participated in the apprehension of these suspects who have no regard for our laws and act with impunity. We hope the justice department metes out the toughest sentence possible if found guilty, so as to send a message to others with similar intentions. I salute our Rangers and Pilots for their bravery and dedication, we hope you continue inspiring us with your activities of protecting our fauna and flora” said Mketeni.

The three suspects will appear in court to face charges related to rhino poaching