Tanzanian authorities announced on Wednesday that 952 suspected poachers have been arrested and 104 ivory seized since a special anti-poaching operation began nearly two months ago.
The Minister for Defense and National Service, Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, told a news conference in Dodoma that 631 firearms, including 13 military weapons, have been seized during the operation jointly conducted by the Tanzania People's Defense Force, Tanzania Police Force and Tanzania National Parks.
He said 1,458 rounds of ammunition have also been seized during the operation conducted in game reserves and national parks across the country.
The operation was launched under the background of reports that Tanzania was losing 30 elephants a day or 10,000 a year to poachers.
The rampant poaching activities have resulted in the elephant population in Tanzania dropping from 130,000 to 100,000 in the last few years.
At the current rate, it is feared that there would be no elephants in Tanzania in 10 years.
Last week, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, warned that those behind the indiscriminate killing of elephants should have no option but to surrender themselves.
"The government is very serious in its anti-poaching crusade. No stone will be left unturned in the search for poachers," Kagasheki said.
He said the government will use all its resources in the fight against poaching to save the elephants from extinction.