Hunters still on the prowl in Hilton

Hunters with their pack of 15 dogs were spotted on the border of the Worlds View forest last Wednesday morning by a resident

During the course of last week, residents reported three incidents of witnessing hunters with large packs of hunting dogs prowling through the forested areas in Hilton and near the Worlds View forest in particular.
A member of the Worlds View conservancy confirmed that over the past ten days, they have responded to approximately 20 reported cases. The most prominent areas are Cedara Road, Rotunda, Worlds View, Boughton and Blackridge.
Last Wednesday around 7:30 am, two residents reported seeing hunters accompanied by a large pack of around 15 dogs walking through the Worlds View forest behind their properties.
Hilton SAPS along with honorary officers and members of the conservancy responded speedily and managed to track the three hunters and eventually ambush them into a bushy area of Worlds View forest on the side of Old Howick Road. Unfortunately, the hunters managed to escape but left the dogs running loose.
The SPCA was also called to the scene to apprehend the dogs but the dogs proved to be “too wild” to restrain and eventually escaped into the forest.  The Worlds View Conservancy hopes that the strong policing presence in the area will deter the hunters from the area.
Illegal hunting in the area was addressed last month at a community meeting hosted by the  Winterskloof Conservancy.  Residents came up with an efficient protocol to report any suspected hunting activities in the area that includes using SA CAN’s emergency Bull Horn App. The app is free and is compatible with Android and i-phone mobile devices.  The app allows you to easily and quickly report any illegal activity or emergency by the press of a button on your mobile phone, as well as allowing you to include the relevant location. Hilton SAPS, SA CAN and Ezemvelo wildlife also agreed to work together to enable a swift response to these reported incidents.
This protocol appears to be working as the third incident, which took place last Monday, resulted in Ezemvelo officials apprehending two young hunters with dogs who had been spotted bordering the Queen Elizabeth Park and the N3 high way.
A passing resident who witnessed the suspicious activity posted on the Hilton Chat Face Book group asking for anyone who had the Bull Horn app to please report it. Within minutes the close knit Hilton community had come together and reported the incident on the Bull Horn app, resulting in Ezemvelo officers embarking on a chase for the hunters that led them all the way up into the Hilton area where they finally seized the two young hunters.
Musa Mntambo, communications officer for Ezemvelo confirmed the incident saying that the suspects were around 12 or 13 years old and were from KwaMpumuza.
“On catching them, our officers gave them strict warnings, but had to release them as they were under age,” Mntambo explained.
Brian Jones, CEO of SA CAN said that opening the lines of communication has led to a much more rapid response to hunting incidents in the area.
“SAPS have been amazing and we all have been working very efficiently together having established open lines of communication between SAPS, Conservancies, Ezemvelo and SA CAN.

Jade le Roux

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