Two Akagera National Park rangers were killed on Sunday evening after being shot by suspected poachers who were hunting for wild game in the park.
Another ranger narrowly survived the Sunday evening attack with severe injuries in the back.
The dead were identified as Jean de Dieu Musabyimana and Silas Gapolisi, while Faustin Mwunvaneza, who was shot in the back, is currently hospitalized at Rwinkwavu Hospital, according to a statement from Rwanda Development Board, that oversees the park. .
The incident took place as the rangers were conducting a routine patrols in the park, located in the Eastern Province.
The poachers are believed to have killed two hippos and one warthog before opening fire at the rangers.
“We salute their (Rangers) commitment to conservation and we acknowledge their contribution to Rwanda’s tourism and conservation success,” Rica Rwigamba, the head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB said.
“Rwanda Development Board will continue to work with the National Police to sensitize the general public on the need for protecting the wildlife and their habitat.”
A number of hunting gear, including spears, knives and machetes were discovered at the crime scene, well as, empty bullet shells.
The slain rangers were found by a search party comprising Akagera Rangers, Police and Army yesterday morning.
According to the statement, one man has, so far, been arrested in connection to the shooting.
Rwigamba called upon the general public especially those living around the park to be alert, report any suspicious activity, and refrain from activities that may degrade the integrity of the parks.
She added that RDB through the Akagera Management Company will reinforce security in the park.