South Africa beefs up security at Kruger National Park

Elephants cross the road in the Kruger National Park situated 60 kilometres east of Nelspruit, November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

South African National Parks (SANParks) is beefing up its fight against poaching by dehorning rhinos and deploying police and soldiers to conduct random stop and search, said Kruger National Park (KNP) managing executive Gareth Coleman on Wednesday.

Coleman said they want to tackle wildlife crimes by using highly trained tracker dogs and hounds to track suspected poachers in the bush. They are incorporating the specialized radar and other detection technologies to track poachers on foot.

“These measures are not new in the fight against the scourge of poaching but we are intensifying them to render the incursions ineffective and counter the infiltration of our rangers corps by criminal syndicates,” he said.

“The courts have imposed stiff sentences in recent trials which is welcome as it shows the seriousness of the crimes and the threat posed by the criminal syndicates to the fauna and flora of South Africa,” Coleman said, adding that they will often brief the National Prosecuting Authority on the state of wildlife crime and call for stiffer sentences.

KNP is home to some 7,000 to 8,000 rhinos.

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