South African National Parks (SANParks) wished a Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) Sea, Air and Mountain (SEAM) special operations ranger a speedy recovery after he was attacked by a suspected poacher resisting arrest during an anti-poaching operation in the Glencairn area of TMNP early Tuesday morning.
Monday evening at 23:30, the TMNP Operations Room received information from the Environment Crime Investigation (ECI) team regarding suspected poachers operating in the TMNP Marine Protected Area near Glencairn.
With the assistance of the South African Police Services (SAPS), SEAM operators responded to the complaint and successfully stopped a vehicle suspected of involvement in the incident.
During the search of the vehicle, 112 abalone and diving equipment were found.
The vehicle was confiscated and six individuals were taken into custody.
During the arrest, one of the suspects resisted and attacked a SEAM ranger, who sustained significant injuries and was transported to the nearest hospital.
While protecting our natural heritage on land and sea, our rangers face life-threatening conditions on a regular basis. Following this terrible tragedy, I hope for a rapid recovery for our ranger and am confident he will make a full recovery. Congratulations are due to the SEAM operations rangers and members of the SAPS for successfully apprehending the aforementioned suspects. “Thank you for your dedication and hard work in the fight to preserve our natural resources at any cost,” said Megan Taplin, the newly appointed manager of TMNP Park.
The suspects have been turned over to SAPS for additional investigation, and they will appear in court at the appropriate time.
SANParks has urged the local community to continue assisting in the battle against crime in and around Table Mountain National Park, and has urged everyone to report any suspicious behavior to the Table Mountain National Park emergency hotline, 086 110 6417.