The war against poachers got a boost last week when the minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu received more anti poaching gear, including combat weapons, donated by supporters of the exercise.
These included five Land Cruiser vehicles valued at Sh. 750 million, 50 AK 47 rifles and 10,000 bullets and 20 magazines. The value of the weaponry was not disclosed.
The vehicles and combat rifles were received by the minister at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) and would be handed over to the anti-poaching squad.
Specifically they would be used to strengthen patrols in the game reserves scattered across the country and for control of export of the government trophies.
Mr. Nyalandu did not disclose who made the donation of the vehicles and the weaponry but hinted that they were supplied by "one of our main supporters abroad".
He added that the donation will only boost the struggle to protect the national heritage and that it was still the responsibility of the Tanzanians of all walks of life to get involved in the war against poachers.
The Head of Anti-Poaching Unit in the northern zone Michael Msuka said the donation would boost the morale of members of the force in the northern zone regions of Arusha, Tanga, Manyara and Kilimanjaro.
He disclosed that during the September to December 2014 period, some 203 suspected poachers were arrested in various parts of the country and that some have been fined while others still have cases in the courts.
Late last year Tanzania reiterated its call to the international community to ban trade on ivory and rhino products in order to counter the escalating poaching of the critically endangered animals.
The leading markets of the animal trophies, notably China, Japan, the Koreas, Vietnam, Thailand and other Asian countries were requested to immediately stop buying elephant tusks and rhino horns.
"Without putting an end to international trade in these products, the war against poaching will be futile", the minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu said at the climax of the Elephant and Rhino March held in Arusha.
The event was aimed to create awareness on the wanton killing of the critically endangered jumbos and rhinos which are among the iconic animals in the multi-million dollar tourism industry but whose survival is threatened.
It is estimated that about 10,000 elephants are killed every year by poachers in Tanzania which currently has less than 70,000 jumbos. Presently, the country has only 123 remaining rhinos from about 10,000 in 1970.
The minister's plea to the world to stop trade in ivory and rhino horns products were echoed by the chairperson of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (Tato) Mr. Wilbard Chamburo.
The official asked the government to act firmly on "greedy people", he said, who were behind the wildlife carnage as well as intensify patrol against gunmen in game sanctuaries "in order to protect our jumbos and rhinos".