A heavy exchange of gun fire between game rangers and four suspected Zambian poachers in Kasungu National Park left one of the suspects seriously wounded on Saturday night, Police said on Tuesday.
Kasungu Police Public Relations Officer, Sub Inspector Edwin Kaunda said the incident occurred at Chivunundu area, a distance of about seven kilometres from the Park’s main camp.
He said the suspect identified as Geoffrey Kamanga (31) of Mwasaminga Village, Traditional Authority Mwase Mphangwe in Lundazi, Zambia is currently admitted to Kasungu District Hospital where he is being treated for gun wounds.
“The rangers while conducting patrols at around 9 p.m. heard some gunshots and in an attempt to follow the direction of the gunshots, the alleged poachers started firing at them,” explained Kaunda
He said in retaliation the game rangers fired back and the two parties exchanged fire for at least 30 minutes before they heard one of the poachers screaming in pain. The other three had at this point escaped, according to Kaunda.
“They [the rangers] followed him and discovered that he had sustained some gun wounds and that he was carrying a 243 Rifle with 10 live ammunitions and two animals, akudu and a warthog which they had killed,” he added.
He said the rangers apprehended him and handed him over to Kasungu Police Station from where he was referred to the district hospital.
Kaunda said the suspect was shot on the chest and on the buttocks. Doctors treating him are yet to remove the bullet on his buttocks.
He said once he has recovered the suspect will appear before Kasungu Magistrate Court to answer three charges of entering the protected area without permit, conveying dangerous weapons into the protected area and killing protected animals without permit.