Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Three gunshots led rangers on a chase through the Kruger National Park that ended with a startling discovery — their own superior was allegedly poaching rhino.

South African National Parks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said it was "sad and horrible to hear of one of our own has been arrested for rhino poaching related activities".

"These are the men that are tasked with leading the anti-poaching operations in the park."

SANParks rangers were on a routine patrol on Wednesday when they heard gunshots and went to investigate. As they approached the scene‚ they saw two men — one in green ranger uniform and the other in khaki clothes — running in the direction of a bakkie parked nearby.

The rangers called for assistance as the bakkie sped away and a chase ensued. A second group of park rangers blocked the escape route of the vehicle and two men were arrested.

They are a regional park ranger and a veterinarian technician in the Department of Agricultural and Forestry’s Animal Health Directorate in Skukuza.

"A fresh white rhino carcass‚ two horns‚ a rifle and other poaching equipment were recovered‚" said SANParks in a statement.

Mketeni applauded the rangers who arrested their superior.

"This is evidence of the commitment of our employees to the fight against poaching where ‘no favour nor fear’ is their guiding principle in the war against this scourge. We are confident that with this calibre of men and women in our parks‚ we will win this fight‚" he said.

The two men cannot be named until they appear in court.

TMG Digital