Shootouts kill five rhino poachers in South Africa

Five rhino poachers were killed in two shootouts with South African police this week, the BBC reports. Three were killed in Kruger National Park, one of the most popular game reserves for safaris in South Africa. Two others were killed near the border with Mozambique. Poachers often cross borders in an attempt to evade the law.

Two rhino horns were found among the poachers’ belongings.

Poaching is a serious problem in Africa, with South African rhinos, especially white rhinos, a favored target. Last year 333 rhinos were killed in South Africa. Police have been clamping down on poachers but their activities continue and the heavily armed criminals often get into gunfights with police and park wardens. African nations are having mixed results fighting poachers. Some countries have managed to reduce illegal hunting, but other nations are still struggling with the problem.

[This beautiful shot of two white rhinos is courtesy JasonBechtel via Gadling’s flickr pool. It was taken in Ohio, of all places! At least these beautiful animals are safe there.]

Gun-toting Mexican “pirates” shoot to kill on border lake

One man is presumed dead, and his wife was able to get away. The couple was jetskiing on the Falcon Lake reservoir. They crossed to the Mexican side of the water, according to Zapata county Sheriff Sigfredo Gonzalez, where they came under fire. The shooters are believed to be “Mexican drug operatives,” the San Antonio Express-News reports. Two “boatloads” of men unleashed a torrent of bullets, shooting the husband in the head.

The San Antonio Express-News continues: “They saw them approaching and started revving it up back to the U.S. side,” Gonzalez told the Associated Press. “The guys just started shooting at them from behind.”

This isn’t the only instance of “piracy” along the border recently. Back in May, two boaters were said to have been “shaken down” on the Mexican side of the water. And, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there were other incidents, as well. The DPS has issued a warning about crossing the border to the Mexican side of the lake.

[Via Gawker, photo by Ack Ook via Flickr]