People are worried about the continued poaching of South Africa’s rhinos. But other innocent wild lives are also being threatened.
Incidents of poachers sneaking into game reserves to kill protected animals just to make a quick buck on the streets are growing drastically.
On Thursday, four men aged between 25 and 31 were bust on the streets of Greytown in the KZN Midlands with the body parts of different wild animals.
The dried animal parts included crocodile jaws, leopard skins, tortoise shells, bushbuck skins and various snake skins.
Major Thulani Zwane said the men could not produce permits for the products and were arrested.
“They appeared in the Greytown Magistrates Court, facing charges relating to the possession of protected animal parts and skins. The case was postponed until 17 November for further investigation,” he said.
Zwane said the bust took place when KZN wildlife officials and Greytown cops conducted a joint operation against crime in the area.
KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife spokesman Musa Mntambo said they were aware of wild animals being killed in and outside game reserves on a regular basis.
“We only keep records of rhino killings. With other animals it’s difficult to keep records as they are also found outside game reserves,” he said.
Mntambo said hunting outside game reserves also required hunters to obtain legal permits from the organisation’s offices.
“During specific times of a year, we issue permits for those residents interested in hunting. However, the permit allows one to hunt for a specific and limited time.
“Even during the old times of our forefathers, there were certain rules that regulated the practice of hunting,” said Mntambo.