Animals are often shot but don't die immediately. Many make it to more open ground and are found by game rangers before the poachers can get to them. It is then the responsibility of each game lodge to recover the animal and in particular remove the horns. These were kept in a central location in the Kruger National Park but recently it was decided that a more secure location was needed.
The stakes are high and even driving the cargo in an armored vehicle was considered too risky, so we were asked to fly it out of the Park. I arrived at the pick-up point at the prescribed time to find that the airfield had already been 'secured'.
In all there was about 80 Kg with a black market street value in excess of $8.5m. $8.5m that now won't get into the wrong hands in Asia.
|Quarter of a million dollars right there.|
|And this one's over a million.|
|Good job we bought the big plane!|
Mercy Air team