The 1962 American film 'Hatari', shot in Northern Tanzania in 1962 (then still known as Tanganyika), underlined what the international travel and tourism circles had already known - that a jewel of wildlife richness existed in the East African country.
Directed by an American director Howard Hawks and starring some of the international film industry's legends then in the personalities of John Wayne, Elsa Martinelli, Hardy Kruger, Michele Girardon, Gerald Blain and Valentin de Vargas, the film helped sell Tanzania to the world.
Then followed the bestselling novel, 'Serengeti Shall Never Die" authored in the 1950s by Bernhard Grzimek, the renowned Silesian-German zoo director, zoologist, book author, editor, and animal conservationist in post-war West Germany who instantly fell in love with the sprawling game sanctuary.
It is worth noting here that when Grzimek died in Germany in 1987, his ashes were later transferred to Tanzania and buried next to his son Michael, who had been killed in an air crash (in Tanganyika) in 1957, at the Ngorongoro Crater.
In fact when the country got its independence in 1961, the first Prime Minister, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, issued a historical declaration that set the policy and tempo for the conservation of wildlife for the economic well-being of the nation and preservation of the natural heritage for the then and future generations.
All the above paid dividends as thousands of tourists poured into the country each year to sample the game parks and other attractions, including the enchanting Indian Ocean coastline and the historical islands of Zanzibar. The Treasury began counting its blessings in form of foreign money collections!
It was shocking, disappointing and utterly disgusting when unscrupulous people, in their avarice for quick and easy riches began invading the game areas, killing such animals as elephants, rhinos and zebra for their trophy value.
Some poachers went as far as shooting wildlife such as buffalo, antelopes, Oryx and kudu for their meat value. Both types of poachers left in their wake a trail of mass game destruction, decimating all kinds of wildlife and causing the government to spend a fortune in anti-poaching operations.
Yet there should be no compromise in the anti-poaching effort. It must go on and on. Poachers are economic saboteurs of the worst order and they must be hunted like the wildlife they are hunting.