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File photo / The ranger was seriously injured by poachers who not only slaughtered the elephant, but got away with its tusks.
A ranger in the Niassa Nature Reserve was seriously wounded by a bullet on Monday while chasing a group of poachers responsible for slaughtering an elephant, the 135th to be killed since January 2017.
A Verdade understands that a detachment from the Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR) has been deployed to reinforce the fight against poaching.
This was confirmed to A Verdade over the telephone by the spokesman for the Republic of Mozambique Provincial Police Command in Niassa, Alves Mate. He could not, however, specify the type of weapon used by the alleged poachers.
Slingshots to fight poaching
Meanwhile, the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) complains that elephant poachers in the Niassa Reserve frequently use automatic weapons, while the rangers are armed with slingshots and other rudimentary weapons.
The ranger shot was among four assigned to block 4 of the Niassa Reserve. A Verdade heard from another source that the poachers not only slaughtered the elephant, but got away with its tusks.
Police spokesman Mate told us that the perpetrators were still at large and did not reveal the identity of the victim, who according to him contracted serious injuries in one leg. “He is hospitalised in Lichinga Provincial Hospital,” he was able to confirm.
Mate said that police authorities were working to apprehend the criminals and hold them accountable for their actions.
Meanwhile A Verdade can reveal that a UIR detachment has been in Mecula district since last week, helping boost the fight against the poachers.
At least 134 elephants were killed by poachers in the Niassa Reserve last year, raising to 356 the total number of pachyderms killed in Mozambique over the period.Source: A Verdade
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