A joint operation with the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA), the North West Department of Economic Development, Environments and Tourism (NW DEDECT), the South African Police Services (SAPS) Stock Theft Unit, the North West Parks Board, and the Royal Bafokeng Reaction Force was carried out on Sunday, 8 March 2020, to combat the illegal trade of wildlife along the R556 Sun City Road.
Four Leopard Tortoises were rescued and taken to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinarians for rehabilitation, and three suspects were arrested, two of whom have been caught previously for the same crime by the NSPCA on numerous occasions, these cases are currently on the court roll.
“These offenders need to feel the full might of the justice system as they continue to disregard the laws of South Africa and the sentience of these creatures – we believe that the only appropriate sentence is an extended prison sentence” said Senior Inspector Douglas Wolhuter, Manager of the NSPCAs Wildlife Protection Unit.
The NW DEDECT has reiterated that the purchase of wildlife at these sites is illegal and the department will be enforcing the law, not only on the sellers, but also on anyone caught purchasing these animals. The NSPCA applauds this action as this market only thrives when there is a demand.
“The impact that this crime has is completely devastating, not only for the animals that are poached but for the entire wildlife population as well. This crime also involves innocent members of society – children are often used unknowingly to catch these animals and form part of this criminal activity; it is a crime that is destroying our natural heritage and society as a whole” explained Senior Inspector Wolhuter.
Wild animals belong in the wild.