A Park Ranger has been killed by suspected Rhinoceros poachers in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, according to South African National Parks. The incident occurred on Thursday 19 July 2018, when a Park Ranger patrol approached a group of suspected poachers, who opened fire on their vehicle. The dead Ranger was injured in the upper body during the attack and evacuated by air, but died before he reached hospital. The full identity of the Ranger has not yet been released, but he is described as having been male and from Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga Province.
Rangers on patrol in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Siyabona Africa.
Park authorities and private game reserves across Africa and Asia have been struggling with the problem of Rhino poaching for decades, but the problem has become more acute in recent years, with over a thousand killed in South Africa alone in 2017, and over 5500 in the past five years. The country is home to about 20 000 Rhinos, about 80% of the entire African population. The crime is extremely profitable, and widely believed to be controlled by organised crime syndicates, which are believed to have considerable influence over police and court officials in many areas, which results in suspected poachers often being released before they are brought to trial, often with only nominal bail payments.
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