Alleged rhino poaching kingpin, Petros Sydney Mabuza, known as “Mr. Big,” was reportedly killed this afternoon after his truck was shot an estimated 17 times in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, South Africa.
While authorities have yet to share his name publicly, they did release a statement noting that “Police in Mpumalanga are looking for suspects who shot and killed a 57-year-old man, who was previously arrested on several allegations related to rhino poaching cases which are currently before the High Court.”
Jamie Joseph of the nonprofit organization Saving the Wild also took to social media to acknowledge the news.
“I have just been advised that Petros Mabuza (aka) “Mr. Big,” the rhino poaching kingpin of Kruger, was gunned down today in Hazyview,” Joseph stated in a post on Saving The Wild’s Facebook page. “I have seen his dead face and I can confirm this as fact. Mabuza is dead.”
The deceased was sitting in his Ford Ranger next to a shopping complex, when a group of three armed suspects, who were driving in a black VW Polo, fired several shots at him and then fled from the area. Mabuza was then rushed to the hospital, where he later succumbed to the gunshot injuries.
No arrests have been made as of yet and the motive for the killing is still unknown.
South Africa has approximately 16,000 rhinos remaining in the wild which make up over 80% of the world’s remaining rhino population. In 2020, 394 rhinos were poached in South Africa, which is 30% less than normal due to COVID-19, but sadly, the numbers are on the rise again. South Africa is also the country most affected by rhino poaching.
Mabuza is notorious for leading many different rhino poaching syndicates in South Africa throughout the decades, which has been a part of decimating Africa’s wild rhino populations.
Today is a good day for the rhinos!
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The post Breaking! Rhino Poaching Kingpin Petros Sydney Mabuza “Mr. Big” Was Shot & Killed In South Africa appeared first on World Animal News.