Poachers plague farm

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HORRIFIC END: The booty collected from a group of young poachers at Green Fountain Farm. The backpacks have carcasses of four bushbuck and a duiker. The plastic bag holds livers of eight animals. The heads of the animals are apparently taken to show customers which animal the meat they are buying comes from Picture: ROB KNOWLES
HORRIFIC END: The booty collected from a group of young poachers at Green Fountain Farm. The backpacks have carcasses of four bushbuck and a duiker. The plastic bag holds livers of eight animals. The heads of the animals are apparently taken to show customers which animal the meat they are buying comes from Picture: ROB KNOWLES

ROB KNOWLES

BLOOD and guts poured from the back of Rob Greyling’s bakkie at Green Fountain Farm on Monday morning from the carcasses of several dead animals he recovered after a syndicate of youths fled the scene while attempting to kill a bush pig.

The youths and their dogs quickly scarpered when Greyling witnessed the savage act whereby they abandoned the attack on the bush pig which they had trapped at a watering hole.

On reaching the scene Greyling found two backpacks and a separate plastic bag filled with butchered meat from bushbuck and duiker that belonged to Green Fountain Farm.

A visibly distressed Greyling said that poachers had invaded his farm at Green Fountain many times in the past and, on a previous occasion, an ostrich was killed.

“The youths responsible for the slaughter are usually a gang of two or three with up to 15 dogs with them,” said Greyling. “I caught them trapping a bush pig, and when they saw me they ran, leaving the bags with the animal meat lying on the ground.”

Greyling believes he has lost perhaps six or more animals in this one attack alone.

“I reported the case to the police, but they probably won’t even follow up. Poaching is rife in this area, so I don’t expect much assistance from them,” he said.

Greyling explained that the meat from the animals is not for personal consumption but is rather sold to the communities as game meat.

“It seems that these poachers [Greyling estimates they are between the ages of 18 and 30] are only part of the problem. The people who buy the meat from them are also to blame for supporting this illegal industry,” he said.

“The youths bring around 15 dogs with them. They get through the game fencing surround the farm and then allow the dogs to bring down any large game.”

Greyling described the method of poaching involved dogs chasing, catching and then tearing the flesh from the unfortunate animal as it attempts to escape. He said it was a “horrific way to die”.

“Everyone gets upset when a rhino is poached, but they miss the fact that it all begins here, with the youth and their dogs illegally hunting buck and other animals. We need to get the members of the communities who purchase meat from the poachers to stop buying it,” he said.

Greyling estimated that the meat is sold for around R10 per kilogram whereas the value of the animals are between R5 000 to R20 000 each.

Port Alfred SAPS was contacted for any further information or the steps the police are taking to curb poaching attacks but no reply had been received by the time of going to press.

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