6 February 2013
South Africa’s Kruger National Park has started implementing new and improved security measures to crack down on poaching and other crimes in the reserve, South African National Parks (SANParks) announced on Monday.
The measures are meant to build on current security arrangements.
“We have taken a decision to deploy a crop of newly trained rangers to assist with policing and security at all our main entrance gates,” head of communications at SANParks, Wanda Mkutshulwa, said in a statement.
“These rangers will help with search and seizure duties where necessary, as well as the arrest of offenders.”
The rangers have also been trained in customer etiquette and sniffer dog handling.
“Our tracker dogs have been instrumental in the many successful anti-poaching operations that we have decided to utilise sniffer dogs at our gates; we are in a fortunate situation where individuals and companies are assisting us with training and donations of these dogs,” Mkutshulwa said.
“We are not pulling out any of our tracker dogs from their missions but have specially trained sniffer dogs ready for deployment.”
The strategy forms part of the park’s wider strategy to combat rhino poaching.
“We are at war and every single tactic will assist in ensuring that total control of all entry and exit points are managed by those tasked with the upkeep of the area integrity,” she said.
“It is no secret that Kruger National Park has borne the brunt of these activities in recent times.” This follows reports of 57 rhinos having been killed in January alone.
“If we are serious about winning this war, all commands must be marshaled from one point,” she said.