Three South African men have been arrested near the Beitbridge border of Zimbabwe Saturday for attempting to smuggle 29 sables into South Africa.
The South Africans, Edwin Hewitt, aged 49, Hendricks Johannes Blignaut, 41, and John Herbert Pretorius, 49, were caught when their trucks got stuck in mud close to Beitbridge.
According to Eyewitness News, the men were smuggling 29 sable antelopes, reportedly worth some $348,000, in two trucks, and had taken them from a private game reserve in the tourist resort of Victoria Falls on September 11, allegedly heading for an undesignated border crossing into South Africa.
3 South Africans held in Zimbabwe for smuggling sables Police in Zimbabwe have arrested three South Africans who t… http://t.co/SyoMsjavhw
— Tom (@africanewsdesks) September 13, 2015
According to a National Parks spokesperson, Caroline Washaya-Moyo, the three South African men had no capture and translocation permits, or export permits, for the animals.
“The South Africans had no capture and translocation permits and had no export permits for the sables. The only documentation they had was a movement permit issued by the department of veterinary services, Hwange office.”
The three South African men are alleged to have entered the country through the small border post at Pandamatenga between Zimbabwe and Botswana.
— Zimleague Zimbabwe (@zimleague) September 14, 2015
Washaya-Moyo said that when they were arrested, the three men were not asked to enter a plea and are still in police custody. The men have been charged with the illegal capture and translocation of wildlife for attempting to illegally export the sables, and are due to appear in court at some time this week.
South Africans caught trying to smuggle 29 sable antelope across the border – http://t.co/2feeDamJHv
— Africa Geographic (@africageo) September 14, 2015
According to News24, South Africa’s international relations and co-operation department is not aware of the wildlife smuggling incident and, reportedly, the embassy was closed at the time of the incident.
Wildlife in Zimbabwe was recently in the news on the Inquisitr, when tourists, about to enjoy a relaxing brunch at Mana Pools, were interrupted by a young bull elephant who invited himself to the occasion.
As can be seen in the video on that article, the elephant strolled around the camp and then caused a little chaos with the party, knocking over the tourists, crockery, and cutlery on the way. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, and the tourists went home with something to tell their grandkids one day.
[Image: Sable Antelopes CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Marc]