By Mark Andrews
SEA Globe. November 2013
Three shots from a high-calibre rifle ring out across the bushveld. It is about 2am in Kruger National Park, South Africa, and a team of rangers have been hot on the trail of suspected poachers for the past two hours. A helicopter is scrambled and lands a special forces unit in Houtbosch Section. Contact is soon made, and a firefight ensues.
Three poachers are apprehended, but one dies at the scene from his wounds. However, he is not the only one fatally wounded. Nearby, “a white rhino cow was crying pitifully, its horns had been hacked off crudely, it was still alive, its eyes had been gouged out and the spine had been hacked. It could not move but kept trying to lift its head,” said Ken Maggs, chief operations officer of South African National Parks’ anti-poaching initiative. He has seen many horrifying sights, but none quite as bad as this.
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