Two ‘rhino poachers’ die after crashing into goat during high-speed escape from rangers

Rifle with telescopic sight reportedly found at scene of collision

Tom Embury-Dennis
Thursday 20 June 2019 13:48
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Zimbabwean female group protecting elephants from poachers

Two suspected rhino poachers have died after crashing into a goat while fleeing park rangers in Zimbabwe, according to local reports.

The four suspects were being chased by the rangers at high speed when their Toyota Wish overturned last week, according to Nehanda Radio.

Two of the men survived – and were charged with hunting a protected animal – but Godfrey Makechemu and Charles Runye died of their injuries, the radio station reported.

The accident occurred last week at Bubye Valley Conservancy, on the outskirts of the southern town of Beitbridge, near the border with South Africa.

Prosecutors said the men’s tracks indicated they were following a rhino and they fled once they saw park rangers in pursuit.

"Acting on a tip-off, a police mobile unit saw the suspected poachers coming out of Bubye Valley Conservancy and heading towards a nearby Jopembe village and pursued them," prosecutor Misheck Guwanda said.

A rifle with telescopic sight was reportedly found at the scene of the collision.

James Mauto, 41, and Celestino Shate, 35, were remanded in custody on suspicion of poaching and are due to appear in court on 28 June.

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