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Government tightens security after rhino poaching

Government tightens security after rhino poaching

Samuel Shinedima

FOLLOWING the poaching of 11 rhinos in the Etosha National Park in the past month, the Namibian Government stepped up wildlife security and strategic plans to ensure maximum protection of Namibia’s iconic species.

This includes the immediate deployment of retired Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa to Etosha National Park.

Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta made the announcements at a press conference held Monday in Windhoek.

Picture for illustrative purposes only. Photo: Pexels

Kashihakumwa, the head of the Wildlife Protection Unit, has been based in Windhoek since his appointment in 2017.

While investigations are underway, the Minister expressed concerns about a possible “inside job”, adding that it is not a normal occurrence for 11 rhinos to be poached in such a short time frame because the animals do not move together. All the rhinos killed were dehorned.

As far as the 11 rhino poaching syndicate is concerned, arrest of some of the perpetrators has been made, while the authorities are still on the move to establish the whereabouts of the rest of the perpetrators and bring them to order.

According to Shifeta, the investigations revealed that the carcasses found ranged from three weeks and older. He said the suspects might have been in the park for several days, and that the poaching was not done in one day.

In a separate incident, an adult male suspected to be a poacher was shot dead on Sunday afternoon at Farm Salzbrunnen near Kombat in the Otjozondjupa region.

The incident ensued when four suspected poachers and two farm workers met eye to eye and exchanged bullets which resulted in the death of one of the four suspected poachers. The three suspects fled on foot, and no arrest has been made as of yet.

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