Three 'rhino poachers' shot by rangers in South Africa

By Karen Allen
Southern Africa correspondent, BBC News

  • Published
This file photo taken on July 21, 2010 shows a rhinocero grazing in the private Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in Krugersdorp, north of Johannesburg.
Image caption,
South Africa recorded more than 300 cases of poaching last year

Three suspected rhino poachers have been shot and killed by rangers in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

Security forces confronted a gang of five at the well-known tourist destination. Another member of the group was wounded.

Rangers say they recovered a firearm, ammunition and other tools used for rhino poaching from the scene.

It is the latest in a series of attempts to reverse the rising trade.

Demand for rhino horn has soared in recent years - fuelled by the belief in parts of Asia that it has medicinal properties.

The black market price of rhino horn is now in the region of £35,000 ($55,000) a kilogram.

Last year, South Africa recorded more than 300 cases of poaching.

Despite the prospect of high-level prosecutions, the financial rewards for criminals are helping to fuel the trade.