By Marc Nkwame
Few choppers are hovering over Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Maswa Game Reserve, reportedly looking for a couple of alleged runaway rhinoceroses.
Being endangered species on poachers' top hit list, the search for the rhinos is intensive with game rangers patrolling the grounds day-and-night.
Early reports had it that the precious wildlife species had somehow escaped from Serengeti National Park and were roaming down South into Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Later reports had it that between two and three 'renegade' rhinos had recently gone past Ngorongoro and must be roving within Maswa Game Reserve, in the Makao Ward of Meatu District in Simiyu Region but until going to press on Tuesday, the ferocious horned mammals were yet to be sighted.
Asked about the rhinos, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, who was in Meatu recently said that as far as he was concerned, the animals were not from Tanzania's second largest park but had fled from the neighbouring Kenya into Tanzania, possibly for safety.
It is not just rhinos that are fleeing Kenya for Tanzania, last year's cross-country wildlife census's results indicated that elephants were also moving south from Kenya to Tanzania, en-masse.
The trans-boundary Serengeti-Mara Census conducted by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) in conjunction with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) was specifically concentrated in tallying the number of elephants and buffaloes within the 32,000 square kilometres encompassing the World's largest eco-system.
The census showed that there has been a 266 percent upward increase of elephants in the Serengeti Mara with most of the 7, 535 jumbos counted, found to be concentrating in the Serengeti National Park, the adjacent Maswa, Kijereshi and Ikorongo game reserves as well as Ngorongoro Conservation Area, precincts falling within Tanzania.
In the Kenya's Maasai Mara an average of 1,000 elephants were counted indicating a shift of jumbos' habitat from north, rapidly moving south into Tanzania's Serengeti National Park in what was observed as their effort to save their tusks from poachers.