South Africa :- Caught in the act

DroneKruger

Stefan de Villiers

Flying of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for game viewing, filming, photography or any other purposes during their visit to the park this festive season or any other time is illegal.

SATARA – Yet another tourist has been caught in the act of flying a drone in the Kruger National Park (KNP).

This caused quite a stir on the Facebook group, Latest Sightings – Kruger, as many felt that the perpetrator should never be allowed in the park again, and that it could just as well have been used to spot rhinos for poaching. The car’s registration plates belonged to a rental company, and by the time the gates were notified, the culprit had already left the park through Orpen Gate.

SANparks has warned individuals against the flying of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for game viewing, filming, photography or any other purposes during their visit to the park this festive season or any other time.

This practice is illegal as national parks are legislated protected areas with restricted airspace,and is therefore a no-fly zone for all unauthorised aircraft systems. “We have had too many incidents reported by tourists in the KNP, of people flying such aircraft illegally, getting out of vehicles in undesignated areas, interfering with sightings, disturbing and stalking animals, only to feign innocence upon questioning. We would like to remind such people that, should they be caught flying them in the park at any time, they will be arrested on the spot and their equipment will be seized,” said KNP’s general manager for communications and marketing, Mr William Mabasa.

“These kinds of incidents can negatively impact on the well-being of animals as well as the experience of other visitors.” To report similar incidents, contact the emergency call centre on 013-735-5516/076-801-9679.

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