The Hawks on Sunday shot dead an alleged rhino poacher and injured another during a shootout in the Kruger National Park.

Captain Paul Ramoloka said the Hawks in partnership with the task force received information about the alleged poachers who were spotted near the Sabi Sand private game reserve in Skukuza at around 2pm.

“When our team confronted the four men, they opened fire on the police who returned fire. One of the poachers was killed, another is in hospital while the other two were arrested,” he said.

Police confiscated a hunting rifle, axe, saw and sedan used by the alleged poachers.

Ramoloka said the three men would be charged with attempted murder and being in possession of dangerous weapons.

“We are still trying to link the suspects with some of the rhino poaching which have taken place in the KNP over the past week.”

According to SA National Parks (SANParks) the country had lost 528 rhinos since the beginning of 2012 and 320 of them were killed in the KNP. - Sapa