By Marc Nkwame
Where did the 300,000 elephants that roamed the wild in the country at independence time in 1961 go should be the one-thousand-dollar question on the lips of many Tanzanians.
However, the answer might not be too hard to get, with statistics pointing to massive elephant poaching in the world.
According to available data, when Tanzania gained independence in 1961, there were more than 300,000 elephants roaming the wild, which means nearly 200,000 have been decimated in the past 52 years.
Apart from the reported presence of 400 poachers and other dealers responsible for the massive elephant poaching in Tanzania and worldwide, there are carvers working in the only 35 registered carving factories in China.
That is according to reports made available in Arusha on threshold of the 'Global Elephant March' that is taking place here and in other 14 cities worldwide today.
The 35 registered 'ivory artifacts carvers' of China are said to supply their end products to 135 registered retail shops, adding to the concern on the magnitude of the problem from around the globe. Boasting slightly of over 110,000 elephants, Tanzania ranks second after Botswana, which has 123,000 in the highest number of jumbos in Africa.
But the former may soon lose the entire herd as 30 elephants get killed in the country daily. According to the Vice-Chairman of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr Peter Lindstom, the country will likely lose its entire elephant population by the end of this year, at such killing rate. More....