By Peter Temba
Governments in the East African region have been urged to take stern measures against poaching in order to maintain the survival of rare and endangered animal species in national parks. "Recently there have been many disturbing reports of poaching in various media outlets in the region," said Mr Henry Mwizanduru, the Managing Editor of 'Savor Tanzania,' an international tourism and business magazine.
He said in Tanzanua there were reports about poaching in Simiyu region in a locality known as Mlima Ngoma, which is in Serengeti National Park. In the incident, four suspected armed poachers were gunned down as they were removing tusks from the carcass of an elephant.
They also possessed a sub-machine gun and 367 rounds of ammunition. "A week later a group of four suspected poachers was intercepted in a village in Dodoma region as they carried about 200 tusks that brought the total number of elephants which were killed last February to 100, an average of three elephants a day," he said.
Mr Mwizanduru added that in October, this year, over 214 elephant tusks were intercepted in Dar es Salaam worth 2.2bn/- which were destined for the Far East.
He said it was also reported that on February 8, this year, Ugandan authorities intercepted a large haul of ivory believed to belong to Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
Governments, he said, should reverse the trend if tourism was to flourish in the East African states, whose tourism industries have been crucial for overall economic growth.