South Africa: 5 killed in helicopter crashMarch 31, 2013 @ 4:03 am
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Five South African air force members died in the weekend crash of a helicopter that was patrolling in an anti-rhino poaching operation, the South African military said Sunday.
The crash happened Saturday evening in South Africa's Kruger National Park and that the crew was among those killed, the military said.
The helicopter was on a scheduled patrol of the park and an investigation has begun to determine the cause of the crash, the military statement said. It identified the aircraft as an Agusta A109 light utility helicopter.
South Africa is struggling to stem rampant poaching of rhinos, whose horns are sold to buyers in Asia.
The number of rhinos poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year has increased to 188, including 135 in the Kruger park alone, South African authorities said last week.
Also last week, South African media quoted authorities as saying three rhino poachers from neighboring Mozambique were shot and killed by game rangers in the Kruger park.
Rhino horn is made of keratin, a tough protein found in human fingernails. There's a belief in Asia that ingesting ground-up rhino horn cures diseases. However, no medical evidence supports that.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Have a Seat
Crystal Mountain says it'll auction off chairs destroyed in a massive avalanche
New radar data shows a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 changed course before disappearing
Seattle's most famous gardener gives you the green light
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.