South African rangers kill 3 suspected poachers

JOHANNESBURG - South African authorities used a helicopter to recover the bodies of three suspected poachers who were fatally shot by rangers in a wildlife park where rhino poaching has increased in recent weeks.

Richard Schouten of IPSS Medical Rescue, a private group, said Friday that a recovery team on Thursday carried the bodies of the suspects out of a deep ravine and winched them up, one by one, to a military aircraft.

The three men were shot on Wednesday in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province.

Schouten says authorities told him that the rangers acted in self-defence.

National officials say protection efforts in Kruger National Park, South Africa's biggest wildlife area, have reduced rhino poaching there. They say poaching syndicates may be moving operations to other parks, including in KwaZulu-Natal.

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