A joint team of police officers and game rangers from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) yesterday morning shot and injured a man, who was in a group of three fugitive poachers who on Tuesday evaded a dragnet set up to ensnare them after they entered a private farm.
Police and MET rangers were summoned on Tuesday to the game farm at Harrisy, located some 30 km from Outjo, where they proceeded to track the suspects that were initially spotted by the owner of the farm, who had alerted the police, said the deputy inspector-general of police operations, Major-General James Tjivikua.
“The team went there and immediately started tracking the poachers, but all attempts were in vain (on Tuesday). This morning, while they were keeping surveillance on the Outjo/Okaukuejo main road in the vicinity of the farm where footprints were seen, a suspected poacher appeared on the road and immediately when he saw the officers’ cars, he retreated and disappeared in the farm area.”
The team went and inspected the place where the suspected poacher had disappeared and suddenly he reappeared on the road. When they drove towards him he “ran into another farm area,” Tjivikua said.
“The team tried to stop the suspected poacher by firing warning shots, but he failed to do so. The suspected poacher continued running and holding onto his panga. He was eventually shot and wounded and was admitted to Outjo State Hospital in a stable condition before being transferred to Windhoek,” he further said.
Tjivikua warned members of the public against poaching.
He said: “Illegal hunting and poaching of birds and animals, including especially protected species in the national parks, communal and private properties, constitute a crime punishable by law.”
Last week members of the anti-poaching unit in a heated gunfight shot dead three suspected poachers in the Bwabwata National Park, who were among a gang of heavily armed suspected poachers, who had reportedly opened fire on the police.