By Kevin Heath
Police and wildlife rangers in Tanzania have arrested 6 poachers armed with a submachine gun who had been on an elephant poaching spree killing at least 28 elephants. The suspected poachers were arrested just after mid-night on Monday in the village of Kiyombo in central Tanzania.
Authorities recovered 55 elephant tusks from the gang, indicating that they had killed at least 28 elephants in their poaching spree.
Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu said the poachers were arrested some hours after midnight in Monday morning. “Right now, the arrested poachers are being held at the Manyoni police station,”
He went on to say that the poachers had been intercepted after they had been poaching in the Rungwa and Kizigo, game reserves located in Manyoni.
Rangers and police are currently in the reserves undertaking a search as they have been given information that more members of the gang could still be hiding out there with more elephant tusks.
“We have dispatched a team of rangers as well as police officers to comb the entire reserves because intelligence reports suspect that more culprits could still be in the forest and likely also hoarding more government trophies,” Nyalandu said.
The arrests were announced at a press conference in Arusha when the minister also announced that Operation Tokomeza II is set to be launched in the next few days.