By Joe-Chintha Garises
WINDHOEK, 20 June 2022 – The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism has taken steps to make security adjustments and close any loopholes in Etosha National Park to ensure poaching incidents like the recent loss of 11 black rhinos do not occur again.
Minister Pohamba Shifeta updated the public on the ongoing poaching of rhinos and the illegal hunting of wildlife in Windhoek on Monday.
He warned that the ministry will leave no stone unturned to apprehend and bring to justice any person attempting to involve themselves in wildlife crimes, and in particular poaching.
“In order to ensure our security adjustments and strategies are implemented without fail, we have, among other measures, redeployed retired Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa, head of the Wildlife Protection Unit to Etosha National Park with immediate effect,” Mr Shifeta said.
“Between 14 – 16 June 2022, a joint anti-poaching unit managed to track and apprehend two suspects out of a group of five who attempted to hunt rhinos in the Etosha National Park. The suspects were seen in the park by a joint anti-poaching unit that was tracking a rhino. The suspects fled when approached by the anti-poaching unit and two suspects were subsequently arrested. Investigations are at an advanced stage to apprehend the remaining three suspects whose identities are known to the authorities,” he added.
In a different incident, a Botswana national was arrested at the Mahango core area of the Bwabwata National Park when park staff, who were on regular patrol, laid an ambush after they discovered a fresh giraffe carcass in a snare and biltong hanging nearby. There were two suspects but one managed to escape into Botswana and the other was one was shot as he was also trying to escape.
The injured suspect was identified as a 40-year-old Botswana national and he is now receiving medical attention at Rundu Hospital.
“He will be charged for contravening the Nature Conservation Ordinance No 4 of 1975, for illegally hunting a specially protected game species, illegal entry into the park, and for illegal entry into Namibia,” the minister said adding investigations continue to establish the identity and apprehension of the second suspect.
“With the biggest population of black rhinos in the world, the world looks up to Namibia to prevent this already critically endangered species from going extinct,” he stressed. – Namibia Daily News.