South African arrested in Mozambique's Limpopo National Park on poaching charge

South African  arrested in Mozambique's Limpopo National Park on poaching charge
Published: 13 December 2016 (978 Views)
A South African, Pieter Jansen van Rensberg, has been arrested on a charge of poaching inside the protected buffer zone of the Mozambique's Parque Nacional de Limpopo (PNL), which abuts the Kruger National Park. Also held were his wife, another family member and a guide from Massinger.

They had two high-powered hunting rifles and was carrying a permit in the name of Dirk Abraham Swart, which was invalid. He claimed he had been invited to hunt by the Director of Economic Activities in Massinger, but had no documentation to prove this. All hunting in the PNL is forbidden. A docket has been opened against Van Rensberg for illegal hunting in a protected area.

According to the Mozambican Director of Protection and Law Enforcement, Carlos Pereira, Van Rensberg - who presently lives in Manhiça Maragra, Maputo Province - refused to sign a document confirming the seizure of his weapons and was detained, but later released on bail pending trial.

His arrest comes shortly after the killing of a collared elephant named Charlie in a section opf the park which has seen increasing ivory poaching. When Michelle Henley of Elephants Alive, together with  researchers from the Conservation Action Trust flew over the area during the collaring operation, they found elephants there were huddled rather than spread out and highly aggressive, indicating raised fear levels.

'Just before we arrived' said Henley, 'the Peace Parks technical adviser had flown the southern part of the PNL and he found 66 live elephants and 53 carcasses. We're looking at a rapidly declining population. Poaching in PNL is definitely out of control and elephants are now being killed right on the Kruger border. It will soon be happening in the park itself.'
According to Henley, the annual offtake from elephant poaching in Africa is now much higher than natural reproductive rate and is of grave concern.

Thirty years ago most of the continent's elephants were in Central and East Africa. Today the greatest percentage is in the southern African states which now have over half the continent's population. That's mainly because of massive poaching of forest elephants plus decimation in East Africa.

The Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park is the last holdout of a free, relatively unfenced elephant population - and Kruger is where 78% of South Africa's elephants live. But the elephant contagion is now definitely heading south.

'We're the final stronghold of African elephants and poachers know that,' said Henley. 'That's why we've had a 53% decline right on our borders in the past five years. In the last 12 months, 68 elephants were poached in Kruger - the highest they've ever had since the 1980s. So elephant poaching is now a South African problem.

Many of the Mozambican rhino and elephant poachers live in and around Massinger, which is in the PNL and just over the border from Kruger. If Van Rensberg is found to have been poaching, it will add a new dimension to an already runaway poaching situation in the area.


- Don Pinnock Environmental journalist

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

PHOTO: Suspect signs police document 'Pasi neZanu'

by Moyo Roy | 27 April 2017 | 124 Views

WhatsApp expose love triangle among friends

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 114 Views

SAA strike leaves hundreds stranded at Victoria Falls Airport

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 96 Views

It's harder for a pastor to enter the Kingdom of Heaven

by Tendai Ruben Mbofana | 27 April 2017 | 86 Views

Brace for chilly winter, says Met department

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 83 Views

Fraud charges against Kadungure withdrawn

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 63 Views

Tsvangirai aide's $200,000 request granted

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 69 Views

Chaos, tension at Kasukuwere inquest

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 57 Views

Grace Mugabe's Women's league has 'no issue' with Kasukuwere

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 74 Views

Namibian President tours Zimbabwe National Heroes Acre

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 48 Views

Tsvangirai's MDC-T sued for $108,000

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 44 Views

PHOTO: Woman kneels for traffic cops

by Staff Reporter | 27 April 2017 | 90 Views

3 injured in road accident

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 65 Views

Kasukuwere strikes

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 72 Views

A muppet with a whistle and an audience: Response to Fikile Mbalula

by Prof Changamire | 27 April 2017 | 56 Views

The truth eludes Africa freedom

by Enos Denhere | 27 April 2017 | 49 Views

The fall of fixed water charges in Mabvuku

by Goodlife Mudzingwa | 27 April 2017 | 56 Views

Pokello and Elikem still hot items

by Staff Reporter | 27 April 2017 | 91 Views

Dr Dzamara, contesting 2018 with no reforms is madness - why do it

by Patrick Guramatunhu | 27 April 2017 | 65 Views

Mnangagwa's fighting spirit splendid- MDC official

by Stephen Jakes | 27 April 2017 | 119 Views

We celebrated the independence that never was- ZimFirst leader

by Stephen Jakes | 27 April 2017 | 62 Views

Zanu PF force villagers to contribute towards independence

by Stephen Jakes | 27 April 2017 | 53 Views

When scriptural fraud and spiritual illiteracy dominate at high levels

by Evangelist Reginald Thabani Gola | 27 April 2017 | 73 Views

Worship and Honour revisited: Kneeling-down in the presence of an anointed Man of God

by Evangelist Reginald Thabani Gola | 27 April 2017 | 63 Views

Namibia wants more power from 'powerless' Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 50 Views

Zimbabwe spends $45 million on road rehabilitation

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 43 Views

BVR testing ends

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 55 Views

Zanu-PF acquires new properties

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 56 Views

Command livestock on the cards

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 36 Views

Zimbabwe's imports control saves $1 billion

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 50 Views

'Zanu-PF has launched terror campaign'

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2017 | 69 Views