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Poachers cought in Bela Bela

Bela Bela, Limpopo - Two suspected rhino poachers have been arrested in Bela Bela, Limpopo, police said on Thursday.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they were caught on a private game reserve on Wednesday.

Poaching has become a serious threat to South Africa's remaining rhino population. File photo: Jennifer Bruce. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“The suspects, aged 33 and 61, are from Donkerhoek, near Pretoria,” said Mulaudzi.

They were found in possession of a .300 Winchester hunting rifle, an axe and two knives.

The men would appear in the Bela Bela Regional Court on Friday, when they were expected to face charges of illegal hunting of protected game and the possession of an unlicensed firearm.

“The arrest of these two takes the toll of suspected rhino poachers arrested in February alone to 15,” said Mulaudzi.

Earlier in the month, three people were arrested at Nwanedi Game Reserve.

At Letaba Ranch, police cornered five suspected poachers. Two were arrested, while the other three were shot dead.

Last week, five others were arrested in Phalaborwa.

In these arrests, police confiscated four unlicensed hunting rifles, one AK-47, a pistol, three knives and two vehicles.

“All suspects are still in custody,” said Mulaudzi. - Sapa

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