Following weeks of wildlife crisis throughout Africa, two suspected lion poachers were caught and arrested earlier this week at Letaba River Lodge in South Africa. According to Andre Coppen of Canine Security, who are the group that are responsible for the arrests, information was received about a planned poaching scheduled for upcoming evening. The anti-poaching group deployed a team in the lion encampment where the poachers were due to arrive earlier in the evening, and stayed to wait for the poachers after the lions had been moved to a safe enclosure.
At around eight in the evening, two suspects cut a hole in the boundary fence which allowed them access into the lodge property. As they headed towards the lion enclosure the team lying in wait pounced on them and they were apprehended. From searching the poachers’ bags, reports were able to determine that the pair had planned to poison the lions with chickens that had been laced with an unknown toxin. As well as poisoned chickens, knives, garden shears and other implements commonly used by lion poachers were also found.
Coppen explained, “The modus operandi of these lion poachers is to throw the poisoned chickens to the lions, wait approximately 30 minutes until the animal dies and then remove the paws, head and tails. The poachers receive up R50 000 for these lion parts and we believe that tonight they targeted at least two lions.”
IMAGE CREDIT:halitomer / 123RF Stock Photo
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