More than 100 vultures and a hyena have been poisoned by poachers in Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa, a spokesman for South African National Parks (SANParks) said Friday.
The dead animals are believed to have torn pieces of meat from a dead buffalo. Park rangers discovered 20 eagles alive and took them to a care center for treatment.
Investigators suspect poachers poisoned the buffalo carcasses, Ike Phaahla said. Police have launched an investigation, Agerpres reports.
Eagles can draw attention to the presence of poachers because they congregate over the carcasses of elephants killed for their tusks and rhinos killed for their horns.
Eagles can alert to the presence of poachers because they congregate over the carcasses of elephants killed for their tusks and rhinos killed for their horns.
According to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the number of eagles has declined drastically over the past 30 years.
“Poisoning in various forms is the greatest threat to these birds in Africa and also affects other wildlife across the continent,” the Endangered Wildlife Trust said.
Of the 11 eagle species that live on the African continent, five are listed as critically endangered. About 40,000 eagles live in South Africa.