A gang of armed men held up a wildlife capture expert and a veterinarian on a farm in Bela-Bela, Limpopo and stole seven rhino horns from his safe, Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday.
"You know why we are here," the robbers told Hans Kooy, and his friend, Dr Jana Pretorius, after breaking open a sliding door with a pick.
Kooy told him he did not know what they wanted, to which they replied: "We are looking for the rhino horns."
Earlier this month, Kooy got permits from the provincial environmental affairs department to have seven rhino horns in his possession. He had decided to remove the horns of the rhinos on his farm. One of his rhinos was shot dead for its horn two months ago.
Kooy said he and Pretorius were watching television at the Thaba Manzi lodge when the gang broke in and forced him to open his safe.
Pretorius said she and Kooy were locked inside the safe by the robbers but they managed to open it from inside.
"We were actually worried at that point that they might then go down to where the rhinos are and they will start shooting them and cutting the horns off. So we got out of there as quickly as possible and fired a few shots just for warning," said Pretorius
Pretorius and Kooy both work for Thaba Manzi Wildlife Service.
The gang fled with the horns, two firearms, R15 000 cash, cellphones and a laptop computer.
The police could not immediately confirm the crime.
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