Johannesburg, July 29 : South African National Parks (SANParks) is beefing up its fight against poaching by dehorning rhinos and deploying additional police and soldiers to conduct random stop and search at the Kruger National Park (KNP), one of the largest game reserves in the continent, a top official said.
In a statement on Wednesday, KNP Managing Executive Gareth Coleman said they want to tackle wildlife crimes by using highly trained tracker dogs and hounds to track suspected poachers in the bush, reports Xinhua news agency.
Authorities at KNP are incorporating the specialised radar and other detection technologies to track poachers on foot, he said.
"These measures are not new in the fight against the scourge of poaching but we are intensifying them to render the incursions ineffective and counter the infiltration of our rangers corps by criminal syndicates.
"The courts have imposed stiff sentences in recent trials which is welcome as it shows the seriousness of the crimes and the threat posed by the criminal syndicates to the fauna and flora of South Africa," Coleman said, adding that they will often brief the National Prosecuting Authority on the state of wildlife crime and call for stiffer sentences.
The KNP was was first proclaimed in 1898 as the Sabie Game Reserve by the then president of the Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger. It became South Africa's first national park in 1926.
The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, an area designated by the Unesco as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve.
All the big five game animals -- lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and Cape buffalo -- at the KNP, which has more species of large mammals than any other African game reserve (at 147 species).