South African National Parks said on Tuesday that one of its rangers died in an accidental shooting at Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park.
SANParks spokesperson William Mabasa said the field ranger was shot on Monday evening.
Mabasa said details around the incident was still vague, however, police would investigate.
Executive Officer of SANParks, Fundisile Mketeni said the death of the ranger was a big blow to the Rangers Corps.
“We are saddened by the death of one of our hard working colleagues and pass our sincerest condolences to his family and his associates. We will continue where he left off to ensure the safety of our natural assets,” Mketeni said.
This followed two days in which 10 suspected poachers were arrested and 4 high calibre rifles seized in rhino poaching related incidents.
On March 19, rangers and the K9 unit in Pretoriuskop arrested three suspected poachers in possession of a .458 rifle with a silencer, ammunition and an axe, a fresh set of rhino horns and other poaching equipment was recovered.
Mabasa said one other suspected poacher was also apprehended in Stolznek, while his accomplice managed to escape.
A .458 rifle with a silencer, ammunition and other poaching equipment was confiscated.
In another successful ranger driven campaign outside the Kruger National Park, with the support of the SAPS NIU, four suspected rhino poachers were arrested and two rhino horns were seized.
Mabasa said the suspects were in possession of poaching equipment, ammunition and a heavy calibre rifle.
In a separate incident Crocodile Bridge Rangers also conducting a follow up operation and managed to arrest a suspected poacher in possession of a heavy calibre rifle and ammunition.
“We are proud of the work that is being done by our colleagues in the field, this shows the commitment and dedication to their task. To the poachers, be warned, we have eyes all over the park and we will catch you and take your freedom away” Mketeni said.