Rhino poachers have struck within 30km of Maun. Four of the five men who killed and dehorned a rhino at Tsotsia cattle post near Nxaraga settlement have appeared before Maun principal magistrate Clifford Foroma.The four – Morafe Disalahoo aged 61. Jacob Thabare (43), Keorapetse Itheetseng (34) and George Thimbumburu (38) – have been granted bail on condition that they report daily at Maun Police. The fifth man, who is said to be in possession of the missing horn, is still at large…
The rhino that was poached was over the buffalo fence at Nxaragain the company of two others which had some years ago been relocated to the Moremi Game Reserve. It is the first known incident so close to Maun.
Maun Police Station Commander Kenny Badumetse said they, with the assistance from members of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and officials from the Department of Wildlife, launched a massive manhunt for the people who killed the rhino. He said the killing, in which both horns were removed, was reported on April 3. He said poaching has become rife in the district as most animals roam freely from the parks and other neighbouring wildlife areas.
The incident was also confirmed by Ngamiland Regional Wildlife Officer, Bolt Othomile, who said investigations into the matter are still ongoing, and that they are hopeful that arrests will be made. He said the Nxaraga killing is the first ever in Ngamiland – a region with insignificant rhino population.
Like the police, Othomile has appealed to members of the public to assist with information that could lead to the apprehension of the suspected poachers.
By: Gill Staden
Date: 21 April 2013