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Africa Hunting : Tanzania: Dangerous Elephant Reported Missing

on 2013/7/7 16:18:04 (774 reads)

Mara — OFFICIALS are working around the clock looking for one of three stray elephants which has killed a person in Tarime District of Mara Region.

The Regional Police Commander (RPC) for Tarime Special Police Zone, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Justus Kamugisha, confirmed that one of the elephants was until yesterday evening still missing. There were conflicting reports on where the elephants came from.

Independent sources said they came from neighbouring Kenya. But the RPC said they came from Serengeti National Park. The tuskers attacked people living in villages where the jumbos had never been before and residents there had never seen such animals.

"They killed one person in Kimusi village and injured another in a neighbouring village", the RPC said on Tuesday afternoon. "The information we have is that if there were three elephants and two have returned to Serengeti then one is still missing until now," the regional top police officer said.

He confirmed that a number of police officers have been dispatched to the villages to search for the missing elephant in collaboration with game rangers from Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) and the Wildlife Division. "It is not clear where the elephant has disappeared to but Tanapa, Wildlife Division and police officers are searching for the animal," ACP Kamugisha pointed out.

The disappearance of the elephant has come at a time when poachers who target elephants for their tusks are threatening country's conservation sector. Elephants are listed as one of the world's most endangered species.

Globally the population of elephants has dropped from 50 million in 1930 to around 400,000 this year, the Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Ambassador Khamisi Kagasheki, told editors in Iringa early this month.

He was quoting CITES latest figures. Poaching of elephants has a negative impact on the country's booming tourism sector which contributes a huge junk of the national GDP (17 per cent) after the mining sector. "Poaching is not only a threat to the eco-system but also affects tourism.

Poaching scares tourists too," the minister told a high profile conservation and tourism workshop organized by Tanapa for Tanzanian editors.

Ambassador Kagasheki urged the media to support the government's efforts to protect elephants and other endangered species like rhinos which are targeted by what he described as a well financed syndicate that uses modern weapons and technology.

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