GAME rangers shot and killed a suspected poacher at Kazungula National Park on Saturday – the second fatal confrontation in a month, police said on Monday.
Four other poachers escaped in the early morning raid on their camp in the Matetsi Unit Six area, a subdivision of the sprawling game reserve.
Matabeleland North police spokesman Inspector Billie Dube said on December 7, the rangers deployed at Quebec base in Matetsi received information from Econet engineers working on a facility along the Victoria Falls-Kazungula road who heard two gun shots in the area.
Inspector Dube said: “The rangers made a follow up and came across human tracks about 800m from the Econet facility and started tracking until it got dark.
“The rangers then camped for the night before resuming the search for the suspected poachers early the next morning.
“At about 6AM, the rangers intercepted five poachers at Camp 21. They saw one of the poachers seated by a huge tree and opened fire on him, killing him on the spot. The other four poachers managed to flea in different directions.”
Two loaded assault rifles were recovered along with three elephant tails, two cooking pots and a mobile phone with two Zambian SIM cards.
The dead poacher, who has not been named, had seven bullet wounds.
The dead man’s body is at the Victoria Falls Hospital mortuary.
Inspector Dube said game rangers were authorised to shoot to kill in a high stakes game with poachers who are always armed to the teeth and have previously fatally wounded rangers.