South African authorities are cracking down on rhino poachers – hoping longer sentences will deter others from killing the endangered animals.
As part of of this pattern, a poacher was sentenced to 77 years in prison last Tuesday; one of the longest sentences ever for the crime. Mandla Chauke, a South African, broke into the Kruger National Park in 2011 along with two others. They shot three rhinos and after patrolling rangers spotted them, were engaged in a firefight that left one poacher dead.
Chauke was caught, and despite trying to argue he was coerced into killing the animals by his accomplices, was convicted of murder, illegal hunting of rhinos, rhino horn theft, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and trespassing in a national park.
“We hope that this will be a deterrent” to other poachers, said parks spokesman Reynold Thakhuli.
Earlier this month, two Mozambican poachers were sentenced to 16 years in…