Johannesburg - A suspected rhino poacher was shot dead, and two others were arrested, in the Kruger National Park, the Hawks said on Sunday.

Game rangers saw an injured rhino “running for its life” on Saturday morning and discovered it had a gunshot wound, Captain Paul Ramaloko said.

The rangers followed the trail of blood left by the rhino, which led them to three Mozambican men in the park's Nwanetsi section. The rangers called for back up and managed to corner the men.

“The suspected poachers fired a single shot, and the members retaliated, shooting one of them dead,” Ramaloko said.

The other two were arrested and would appear in White River Magistrate's Court on Monday.

A hunting rifle was confiscated. - Sapa