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Endangered Cape Mountain zebra killed by poacher in Addo

22/08/2010 10:28:13

Shot in eye from outside park's boundary fence

August 2010: A Cape Mountain zebra, an endangered species, has been shot in the Darlington Dam area of South Africa's Addo Elephant National Park.
The zebra carcass - that of a young stallion - was found by rangers during a routine patrol on the morning of August 11.

CLOSE RANGE: The Cape Mountain zebra was shot in
the eye from no more than 30 metres away

It appears as if the zebra was shot sometime during the previous night from outside the park boundary fence. The stallion was standing no more than 30 metres from the fence when it was shot in the eye. The zebra stumbled a few meters before dying.

Detectives of the Somerset East branch of the South African Police Service (SAPS) investigated the incident and found evidence of vehicle tracks and a man's shoe print. It appears as if no attempt was made to load the carcass.

One of 25 zebra brought in to widen Addo's gene pool
The young stallion was one of a group of 25 Cape Mountain zebra that had been introduced to the northern-most section of the Addo Elephant National Park in May. This particular zebra group was translocated from the Mountain Zebra National Park to inject new genes into the existing small population of mountain zebra in the Darlington Dam area.

South African National Parks (SANParks) is particularly concerned about the incident as the Cape mountain zebra is an endangered species and so in need of special conservation interventions. The loss of a stallion affects the breeding dynamics of the zebra herd.

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