A ranger was shot and wounded during contact with suspected armed poachers in the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Sunday, the conservation authority said.
According to SANParks, three suspected poachers were spotted and confronted at the parks Houtboschrand section late on Sunday.
“During a follow-up to apprehend the suspects, a ﬁre-ﬁght ensued wherein Field Ranger Killer Ubisi was shot and wounded in the arm by the suspected poachers,” said Parks spokesman William Mabasa.
Ubisi was subsequently airlifted to a medical facility in Nelspruit and is in a stable condition. During the contact, one of the poachers was fatally wounded and two managed to escape arrest.
The KNP Managing Executive, Glenn Phillips, has extended his best wishes to Field Ranger Ubisi on behalf of all the SANParks staff.
“Field Ranger Ubisi is an endearing member of our Ranger Corps and we would like to wish him a speedy recovery.
“We also wish to thank all our Rangers who are in the face of these cross-ﬁ res day and night, in an attempt to protect our natural resources.
“Our appreciation also goes out to the team who played a critical role in getting Ranger Ubisi to the safety of a hospital in time.”
No arrests have been made as yet and the SANParks, with the support of SAPS, are currently conducting follow-up investigations into the incident.
SANParks remains committed to doing everything in its power to ﬁ ght the scourge of poaching.
Philips appealed to members of the public to report poaching or other wildlife criminal activities to 013 735 0197 or 076 801 9679 to ensure that those who commit these deeds are brought to book.