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Caught back in 2017, three men received long prison sentences for poaching rhinos in the Kruger National Park.

The three men Walter Hendric Mangane, 59; Shangani Mathebula, 26: and Emmanuel Mdluli, 33 were arrested by Kruger National Park rangers when they were caught shooting at rhinos. While arrested, they were also found to have been in possession of rhino horns that they had stuffed in backpacks.

Police spokesperson Colonel Donal Mdhluli told News24 on Saturday that “a report was received by field rangers about gunshots that were heard in the park. They then responded and followed up on the information and, thereafter, with the assistance of a tracker dog, spotted the men”.

A SANParks helicopter was called in to assist and the three men were caught.

The Skukuza Regional Court sentenced the three men to a combined 105 years behind bars. They were found guilty of trespassing, rhino poaching and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Mathebula was found guilty of an additional charge of contravention of the Immigration Act. He is a Mozambican national but is in the country illegally.

Image credit: Rhino Review

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