Cape Town - Sixteen suspects arrested in connection with illegal hunting are expected to appear in the Hofmeyr Magistrate's Court, in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday morning.
According to the Eastern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci the suspects between the ages of 23 and 48 years were arrested for illegal hunting on the farm Gruisheuwel, in the Hofmeyr district in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.
Soci said an official from the Department of Environmental affairs in Queenstown affected the arrests when twelve carcasses were found in the suspects’ possession.
She said the springbok were hunted with dogs and knives which were also confiscated. Soci said more than 30 dogs were taken to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Queenstown.
“A case of Illegal hunting is being investigated by the Hofmeyr SAPS. The suspects are due to appear in the Hofmeyr Magistrate's Court on Tuesday,” Soci said.
This comes a few days after the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy announced a significant decline in rhino poaching since the lockdown commenced.
According to Creecy, April saw a marked decrease in rhino poaching countrywide, with the fewest rhinos poached in the Kruger National Park in a single month since September 2013.
“This could be attributed to the reduction in rhino poaching activities to the disruption of the supply chain resulting from the national travel restrictions, including limitations placed on movement across the country,” Creecy said.
She said a total of 14 rhinos were poached across the country during April – the first month of the national Covid-19 lockdown. A total of 46 rhinos were poached nationwide in March 2020.