A white rhinoceros and her calf. File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Nelspruit - Cooperation between South African National Parks (SANParks) officials, rangers and protection services, along with South African Police Service (SAPS) officers saw four alleged rhino poachers arrested in the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Saturday, police said.

Information at the police's disposal revealed that the SANParks officials had received information about four suspects who were reportedly about to exit the park travelling in two vehicles, Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe said.

The officials pounced on them with the assistance of a SANParks helicopter that had to land on the road to block the fleeing men's vehicles. The men, among them a SANParks employee, were searched. Items found in their possession included a freshly cut set of rhino horns, a hunting rifle, and ammunition. They were arrested with all the exhibits, including the two vehicles, being confiscated.

The suspects, aged between 23 and 47, would appear in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges including illegal hunting, possession of a hunting rifle and ammunition without a licence, and trespassing, Bhembe said.

African News Agency (ANA)