Recent years have witnessed a steep rise in poaching incidents and other forms of crime targeting elephants, giraffes, buffaloes and other species of wild animals in Tanzania.
As recently as last weekend, Natural Resources and Tourism minister Khamis Kagasheki and police officers impounded 706 pieces of ivory in a posh Dar es Salaam suburb.
According to the minister, the incident pointed to the slaughter of at least 200 elephants. Three Chinese nationals were held for questioning in connection with the bizarre incident.
This comes nearly a year after authorities in Hong Kong seized two consignments with a total of 1,209 elephant tusks from Kenya and Tanzania.
The rate of these killings is now significantly greater than the elephants’ capacity to reproduce, which has a devastating effect on major forest and savannah elephant populations and breeding grounds in our national parks.
Tanzania loses an estimated 30 elephants to poaching daily, which comes to about over 10,000 every year. This is not both an ecological disaster and serious threat to social and economic development.
There are many reasons for the swift increase in poaching in our national parks, one being corruption gone mad. In fact, it is widely feared that some game wardens collude with poachers in facilitating illicit trade in ivory and other wildlife products and that poachers belong to syndicates of local and international criminals. More....