Jozini Dam visitors shot at by alleged elephant poachers

S
stenews
Tue, Jan 24, 2023 9:52 PM

Jozini Dam visitors shot at by alleged elephant poachers
DefenceWeb
January 23, 2023

When releasing poaching statistics mid-last year, Forestry, Fisheries and
Environment Minister Barbara Creecy pointed out a shift from previous prime
poaching areas to KwaZulu-Natal was concerning.

This was forcibly brought home earlier this month (January) when a game
viewing cruise on Jozini Dam was targeted, seemingly by poachers who,
according to reports, killed at least 25 elephants in northern
KwaZulu-Natal. Foreign and local tourists were on the boat with the
incident leading to a call for increased levels of protection to protect
the local – already fragmented – economy. No-one aboard was wounded during
the shooting.

The call came from Heinz de Boer, Democratic Alliance (DA) provincial
spokesman for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs.

In the wake of the attack on the Jozini Dam game viewing boat he said the
help of high-ranking provincial and national conservation and policing
officials had been enlisted to prevent poachers wreaking further havoc on
the region and its embattled local economy, of which tourism is a major
component.

The incident reportedly saw suspected poachers – all apparently heavily
armed – firing shots at the boat before opening fire on what De Boer called
“an already decimated herd of elephant”.

Jozini Dam is on the Eswatini/South Africa border where poachers reportedly
killed 25 elephants and are suspected of other illegal wildlife activities.

“Armed groups of poachers have now laid siege to the eastern shores of the
lake with several elephant carcasses recently found, while dozens of
gunshots were reported in the region,” he is reported by Daily Maverick’s
Tony Carnie as saying.

“Guards near the Eswatini border allegedly came under attack and
infrastructure was damaged and torched by the armed gang.

“The DA has received video and photographic evidence of a tour boat coming
under fire by armed gangs who continue to lay illegal gill nets in the lake.

“Rampant lawlessness and decimation of flora and fauna in this community
has long been highlighted. To date, government has failed to secure this
tourist and wildlife haven,” De Boer said.

“It is important for national government to shift its focus to supporting
provincial authorities and private reserves in the war on rhino poaching,”
Minister Creecy said when making public rhino poaching figures for the
first half of last year. The unfortunate Jozini Dam incident can be seen as
further proof of the need to spread the anti-poaching net wider.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/jozini-dam-visitors-shot-at-by-alleged-elephant-poachers/

Jozini Dam visitors shot at by alleged elephant poachers DefenceWeb January 23, 2023 When releasing poaching statistics mid-last year, Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy pointed out a shift from previous prime poaching areas to KwaZulu-Natal was concerning. This was forcibly brought home earlier this month (January) when a game viewing cruise on Jozini Dam was targeted, seemingly by poachers who, according to reports, killed at least 25 elephants in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Foreign and local tourists were on the boat with the incident leading to a call for increased levels of protection to protect the local – already fragmented – economy. No-one aboard was wounded during the shooting. The call came from Heinz de Boer, Democratic Alliance (DA) provincial spokesman for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs. In the wake of the attack on the Jozini Dam game viewing boat he said the help of high-ranking provincial and national conservation and policing officials had been enlisted to prevent poachers wreaking further havoc on the region and its embattled local economy, of which tourism is a major component. The incident reportedly saw suspected poachers – all apparently heavily armed – firing shots at the boat before opening fire on what De Boer called “an already decimated herd of elephant”. Jozini Dam is on the Eswatini/South Africa border where poachers reportedly killed 25 elephants and are suspected of other illegal wildlife activities. “Armed groups of poachers have now laid siege to the eastern shores of the lake with several elephant carcasses recently found, while dozens of gunshots were reported in the region,” he is reported by Daily Maverick’s Tony Carnie as saying. “Guards near the Eswatini border allegedly came under attack and infrastructure was damaged and torched by the armed gang. “The DA has received video and photographic evidence of a tour boat coming under fire by armed gangs who continue to lay illegal gill nets in the lake. “Rampant lawlessness and decimation of flora and fauna in this community has long been highlighted. To date, government has failed to secure this tourist and wildlife haven,” De Boer said. “It is important for national government to shift its focus to supporting provincial authorities and private reserves in the war on rhino poaching,” Minister Creecy said when making public rhino poaching figures for the first half of last year. The unfortunate Jozini Dam incident can be seen as further proof of the need to spread the anti-poaching net wider. https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/jozini-dam-visitors-shot-at-by-alleged-elephant-poachers/