A Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldier and a poacher died during a poaching incident early on Wednesday morning (11 March) at Chiefs Island in heart of the Okavango Delta, the army has confirmed.
A BDF media statement said there was a shootout at around 3 am at Chiefs Island between a BDF patrol team and poachers which resulted in the death of one soldier and a poacher.
“The Botswana Defence Force focusing on anti-poaching operations, sadly informs the public about an incident that occurred this morning (Wednesday) at around 0300 hrs at Chiefs Island in the Ngami Area an exchange of fire between a BDF patrol team and poachers resulted in the death of a BDF member and one poacher,” said the statement.
“This incident indicates that poachers continue to declare war on members of the Botswana Defence Force as they have adopted new tactics and operating methods that escalated poaching activities particularly at Chiefs Islands,” said the BDF.
The army further said,
“Despite the positive achievements recorded over the years, poaching activities have certainly not stopped as poachers continue to target rhinos, elephants and other endangered species in our national parks.”
The incident brings to 11, the number of poachers killed while targeting members of the BDF since 2019. The name of the deceased has been withheld until the next of kin have been informed.